Skip to main content

Full text of "The social task of Christianity; a summons to the new crusade"

See other formats


II 



1 



i ill 1 !ii I 11^ !^ 



11 !l 



111 



III 



pi 



ill 



I! V 



ii 

I ill 



11! 



1 



! I 



mA 



iiiii' 



I 



If 



liir 



IMM: 






CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 








DATE DUE 






r rj^- 


■^^^^ 


T^ 














/" 


lAM 


u 6 IS9Z i 


» 
























■ 










































































































GAYLORD 






PRINTEDINU.S.A. 



Cornell University Library 
HN31 .B33 
The social task,,offfiia8 



! olln 




"■""924 030 246 239 




The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924030246239 



The Social Task of Christianity 



THE SOCIAL TASK 
OF CHRISTIANITY 

A Summons to the New Crusade 



By 
SAMUEL ZANE BATTEN, D. D. 

Professor of Social Science, Des Moines College 

Chairman Social Service Commission 

Northern Baptist Convention 




New York Chicago Toronto 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 



Copyright, 191 1, by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



/ 



New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 123 North Wabash Ave. 
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W. 
London: 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh: loo Princes Street 



To 

The one, who standing by my side in 
shadow and sunshine, has divided 
the burdens and multiplied the joys, 

The Mother of our Children, 

This book is gratefully dedicated 



There is in human affairs one order which is best. That 
order is not always the one which exists ; but it is the order 
which should exist for the greatest good of humanity. God 
knows it and wills it ; man's duty it is to discover and es- 
tablish it. — Emile DeLaveleye. 



Foreword 

IT is admitted by all students of human affairs that 
the present age is a time of crisis and change. It 
is even confessed by many Christian thinkers that 
the present generation will in aU probabihty constitute 
a turning point of human history, and may determine 
the fortunes of Christianity for a thousand years. 
Whether men are aware of it or not the existing social 
order is dissolving before their eyes ; and many things 
indicate that the forms in which men have known re- 
ligion are dissolving in the general dissolution. This 
does not mean that the reign of anarchy is at hand or 
that chaos is about to come again. But it does mean 
that the old forms of society and the old formulas of 
religion no longer can contain the life and express the 
faith of to-day. This is certain that the ideas and 
ideals which inspired the fathers and determined the 
scale of their thought and faith are passing, if they have 
not already passed. The motives and methods which 
once guided their efforts and expressed their devotion 
are no longer adequate for the new world which is ris- 
ing out of the ruins of the old. In sober truth it may 
be said that Christianity is passing through the most 
momentous crisis of its long history ; and if the 
churches fail to read the signs of the times, or if they 
misread them, they will forfeit their election and lose 
the allegiance of mankind. 
This little book, written with this crisis and oppor- 

7 



8 FOREWORD 

tunity in view, has a twofold object. It seeks, first, to 
appraise the changes that are taking place in the world 
and to interpret the will of God for this generation as 
it is revealed in the processes of human society. And it 
seeks, second, to define the special task to which the 
Christian discipleship is now fairly committed, and to 
suggest the program and method by which the purpose 
of God as expressed in Jesus Christ shall become a 
PACT in the life of humanity. It is written in the con- 
fidence that Christianity is essentially a social religion, 
that the kingdom of God in the Christian conception 
of things never means anything less than a human so- 
ciety on earth, that the supreme task before the men of 
good- will to-day is the creation of a better and more 
Christian type of human society, that the needs of the 
world in this time demand that men's personal, social, 
industrial and political life as a whole be transformed 
and Christianized, that, in a word, the superlative duty 
of men to-day is the Christianization of Christendom. 
If religion means a knowledge of the goal and of the 
means which lead to it, no inquiry can be more perti- 
nent than that here undertaken. If Christianity to be 
the final religion must be adequate to the largest tasks, 
then it can only carry off from the great debate of the 
world's religions the prize of the world's allegiance as 
it actually builds a human society after the divine 
order. 

" Of making of books there is no end." The only 
excuse that one can offer in this time when books are 
pouring in a veritable Niagara from the press lies in 
the fact that he has something to say which no one 
else has said. The social question as it is called is in 
the air to-day, and many books are being written upon 



FOKEWOKD 9 

it in some of its aspects. Thus far, however, no book, 
so far as I am aware, approaches this question from the 
side here indicated ; nor is there any book which shows 
the relation of the present crisis in religion to the so- 
cial task of Christianity. The book aims to be suggest- 
ive rather than exhaustive at any point. It does not 
pretend to give a complete and formal program of so- 
cial salvation or to define aU of the methods of social 
action. At this hour of the morning the great need is a 
sense of direction for the day's march, a definite idea of 
the day's task, and a clear understanding of the factors 
and forces of social progress. The author nowhere as- 
sumes or implies that social service is the whole of 
Christianity ; but he does insist that it is a vital and 
essential part of the Christian's commission. The 
Christian Spirit will continue to inspire men in personal 
work with individuals ; it will stiU impel men to build 
Christian churches and create Christian homes ; it will 
no doubt awaken in men a deeper and more consuming 
interest in missionary activity. But beyond all of these 
things, in part their fulfillment and in part their condi- 
tion, it will impel men to arise and build a Christian 
order of human society. 

It is impossible for any writer to untwist the thread 
of his thought and trace every strand back to its orig- 
inal source. It is impossible therefore for any writer 
to mention by name aU of the friends and writers who 
have helped him in the development of his thought. 
In some cases direct reference is given in the text to 
sources and authorities. At the end of each chapter a 
brief bibliography is given of those to whom the writer 
is indebted and to whom the reader is referred for 
further study. But to his Comrades of the Brother- 



10 FOREWORD 

hood of the Kingdom the writer owes a debt which 
cannot be paid in words. The many delightful hours 
spent in conference and inquiry on the hilltop near 
Marlborough-on-the-Hudson have meant much to one 
man in the clarifying of his thought and the intensify- 
ing of his convictions. Most gladly, therefore, does he 
acknowledge his immeasurable indebtedness to the 
Comrades of the Brotherhood of the Kingdom. 

S. Z. B. 
JDes Moines, Iowa. 



Contents 

I. The Past Achievements and the Present 

Task ..... • ^3 

The Achievements of Christianity — The Present 
Situation. 

II. The New Age and Its Problems . . 33 

The Social Problem — The Preservation of the 
Unfit— The Failure of Individual Effort— The 
Solidarity of Humanity. 

III. The Social Nature of Christianity . 64 

The Kingdom of God on Earth — The Christian 
Conception of the Kingdom — The Ideal of the 
Kingdom and the Quality of its Life — The 
Perfect Man in the Perfect Society. 

IV. The Program of Social Salvation . . 84 

The Need of a Positive Program — The Program 
of Christianity — The Salvation of the Whole 
Man — The Christianization of the Institutions 
of Man's Life and their Enlistment in the 
Work of Social Redemption — The Conscious 
Effort to Build a Christian Social Order. 

V. The Method of Social Action . 133 

The Economic Basis of the Spiritual Life — The 
Provision for All of the Conditions of a Full 
and Human Life — The Conscious and Collect- 
ive Effort to Save Society — The Creation of a 
Good Atmosphere — The Mobilizing of the 
Men of Good Will. 



12 CONTENTS 

VI. The Crisis and the Opportunity . .184 
The New Credentials of the Gospel — The 
Real Nature of Christianity — The New En- 
thusiasm for the Kingdom — The New Victo- 
ries for the Kingdom. 

Appendix ....... 229 

The Social Service Program. 

Index 231 



The Social Task of Christianity 



THE PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND THE 
PEESENT TASK 

CHRISTIANITY, as Rothe suggests, is the least 
immutable thing in the world ; and this is its 
peculiar glory. The words that the Master 
has spoken are spirit and they are life ; His truth is a 
seed and not a crystal. Geometry is a fixed science, 
but Christianity is not geometry. By the nature of the 
case Christianity is not something that can be settled 
once for all in some mould of doctrine, some form of 
words, some institution of society. It is a new light in 
every seeing eye, a new experience in every human life, 
a new power in every generation. The ever-living vine 
of God is producing every new season the ever-new 
wine of the Gospel ; and so long as the vine produces 
the new wine that long we shall need new skins for its 
reception and preservation. The divine Spirit is ever 
taking of the things of Christ and is showing them 
unto men ; and so long as the Spirit has anything to 
communicate and men have anything to learn of Christ, 
that long we may expect new illustrations of the Chris- 
tian spirit, new applications of the Christian principles 
and new results in Christian lives. It takes a Jesus to 
comprehend a Jesus. 

13 



14 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

The God in whom Christians believe is the living 
God. He is the God of Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, 
to be sure; He is the God and Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ also ; but no less He is the God and Cap- 
tain of men to-day, as He will be the Leader and Guide 
of men to-morrow. The infinite God is infinitely at 
work at every moment of time in every part of His 
universe. The God who spake unto the fathers by the 
prophets is the God who is speaking unto their children 
in His providences. The God who called men and 
wrought in the world yesterday is the same God who 
calls men and works in the world to-day. Men may 
be content to live on a past reputation, but God is not. 
Men may be satisfied to repeat the deeds of the 
fathers, but the Eternal never repeats. Ever and for- 
ever He is working some new works on every day of 
history. The things that have been are hence not the 
things that shall be. God is ever at work in His world, 
going before His people, opening new doors of oppor- 
tunity, setting them new tasks, asking new fruits and 
making all things new. By the very necessities of the 
case the task of men yesterday is not the task of men 
to-day. By the nature of the case the fruits of yester- 
day wHl not satisfy the life of to-morrow. The life of 
to-day must live by the faith of to-day. The faith of 
to-day cannot be sustained by the evidences of yester- 
day. Faith in God is something more than a tradition 
well learned ; faith in God is a fresh and vital experi- 
ence. Ever and again the Living Christ is making all 
things new. 

For nineteen hundred years the Gospel of Christ has 
been preached and the Spirit of Christ has been at work 
in the world. It is not germane to our purpose to in- 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 15 

quire how far this preaching of the Gospel has fully rep- 
resented the mind of Christ. But it may be said with- 
out fear of contradiction that the Good News of God has 
been proclaimed in part at least and some of the truth 
as it is in Christ has been known. There are some ele- 
ments that are never found in a pure state in nature 
but always in combination with some other substances. 
They have such an affinity for these substances that it 
is with diflficulty they can be separated at all. What 
we call Christianity is so vital that it never can be found 
apart from life itself ; it comes to us in life and it ex- 
presses itself through life, and it cannot be separated 
from its human media and viewed by itself. This 
being so it is more or less subject to the chances and 
changes and limitations of our human apprehension, our 
growing thought and our social development. The 
frank recognition of this fact will save us from much 
perplexity at the beginning and much confusion at the 
end. 

Nor is it necessary for us to consider how far the 
work of the churches in these nineteen centuries has 
fully realized the purpose of the reigning Christ. That 
great things have been done in the name of Christ all 
history abundantly testifies. That the work done has 
fallen far short of the purpose of the reigning Christ 
we must all sadly admit. For nineteen centuries the 
Son of Man has been with us ; and yet men have not 
fully known Him. For sixty generations His Spirit 
has been at work in the world ; but very seldom has He 
been able to do His mighty works. Instead of debat- 
ing whether Christianity has failed, we may well ask 
whether it has really been tried. And yet with it aU 
in these Christian centuries great things have been 



16 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

achieved by the Christian spirit, and no one who reads 
history aright will mininiize these great achievements. 
It is impossible here to describe these Oesta Christi in 
detail ; but four aspects of these achievements may be 
briefly noted. 

I. The Achievements of Cheistianitt 
1. The Christian spirit dwelling in men has created 
the finest and highest type of personal morality and 
saintly life. Christianity arose in an age of the world 
that was noted for the lowness of its moral ideal and 
for the demoralization of society. These things are 
clearly reflected in the lurid pages of the historian and 
the bitter satires of the poets. It was an epoch in 
which the horror and degradation have rarely been 
equalled and perhaps never exceeded in the annals of 
mankind.' But in that dismal time the Spirit of Christ, 
like a new creative spirit, brooded over the abyss of 
degradation, and lo, a new tjrpe of manhood stood erect 
with face upturned to heaven and seeking after the 
highest perfection. Before long the Christians were 
noted for their pure lives and their loving service, and 
even their enemies were compelled to mark and ad- 
mire. In the progress of the centuries this ideal of 
human life has developed and unfolded, and new 
aspects of the Great Ideal have been seen and loved. 
To-day the ideal of Christianity in its personal aspects 
at least is well known and widely honoured. "Without 
fear Christianity can point to the lives of men and 
women as illustrations of its power to transform lives 
and to create a distinctive type of Christian character. 
In saying this we do not mean that the Spirit of 
' Farrar, "The Early Days ol Christianity," Chapter I. 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 17 

Chiist has produced its full results or that this new 
type of character has been fully realized. As a matter 
of fact the Christian life is set on an ascending scale 
and man is always going on from less to more and from 
lower to higher. In men, in Christian men, in the best 
of men, there are always some things to be cast off, 
some advances to be made, some new attainments to be 
desired. At best the Christian life is an approxima- 
tion, and the Christian is one who is becoming perfect. 
In an old Bible that belonged to Oliver Cromwell has 
been found this inscription: O. C. 1644 — Qui cessat 
esse melior cessat esse bonus — He who ceases to be bet- 
ter ceases to be good. In harmony with this was 
Martin Luther's maxim — He who is a Christian is no 
Christian. 

And in saying this we do not mean that the Chris- 
tian type of character is so unique that nothing like 
it has ever appeared outside the range of conscious 
Christian influences. As a matter of fact among all 
peoples and in other religions there have been men and 
women whose lives shine with a divine beauty and 
bear comparison with the finest Christian saints. The 
Shu king of China, Buddha and Zoroaster, Epictetus 
and Confucius, are the pride of the human race, and 
show the upward possibilities of mankind. And yet 
when all is said it remains true that there is a type 
of character unique and distinctive that may fittingly 
be called Christian. 

2. The Christian spirit dweUing in men has created 
the Christian family. As every one knows Christian- 
ity arose at a time when the marriage bond was lightly 
esteemed and society seemed to be dissolving. But 
in that time of social corruption Christianity began 



18 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

its changeful and yet triumphant career, and soon its 
effects are noticed ia the home. The home life of the 
Christians was remarkable for its purity and stability, 
and the decay in society was arrested where it was 
not cured. In course of time a type of family life 
came into existence that in the truest sense may be 
called Christian. To-day there is a type of family 
life known the world over as the Christian type. 
This is the second great achievement of the Christian 
spirit ; and the Christian family gives men new hope 
for the world. 

Here again ia speaking of the Christian family we 
do not mean to imply that it is only in Christian lands 
that we find a high and beautiful type of family life. 
In all times, among all peoples, the one man has loved 
the one woman and the one woman has loved the one 
man ; parents have loved their children and have lived 
for their welfare ; children have honoured and obeyed 
their parents, and brothers and sisters have dwelt to- 
' gether in joy and peace and have made home a true 
fellowship of brotherhood and love. But when all 
this is said and all such cases are taken into account, 
it yet remains true that there is a type of family life 
that is distinctively Christian. 

3. The Christian spirit has created that fellowship 
of the Spirit known as the Christian Church. This 
Church has been a continual witness for God and for 
the things eternal ; it has come to men with a mes- 
sage of love and forgiveness ; and it has wrought 
wonders iu human life and for human society. This 
Church has been as an ark of safety ia which the hopes 
of men have been borne across the troubled seas of 
life ; it has been the body of Christ serving the life 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 19 

of man in manifold ways and seeking to bless and 
uplift the life of the world ; it has gathered together 
the men of faith and has mobilized them into an 
army for the King. The Church is one of the great 
achievements of the Christian spirit and its service of 
the world has done much to advance the kingdom of 
God. 

This does not mean that it is only in Christian lands 
that we find men joining in a worshipping community 
and seeking to know the will of heaven. All history 
justifies the statement that man is by nature a relig- 
ious being ; the man without a religion is an excep- 
tion and an anomaly. In all times under aU forms of 
religion men have joined in the worship of God and 
have united to do His will. In all lands among all 
peoples men have lifted hands in prayer not for them- 
selves alone but for all ; and then they have gone 
forth to do the wiU of God as they understood it. 
Thus Herodotus records the custom of the Persians : 
" He that sacrifices is not permitted to pray for bless- 
ings for himself alone ; but he is obliged to offer 
prayers for the prosperity of all the Persians, and the 
king, for he is himself included in all the Persians." ' 
And this does not mean that the churches bearing the 
name of Christ have been fully Christian. It must be 
admitted that the Church as it has appeared in history 
has fallen far below the ideal of Christ and has done 
but a fraction of His work. There have been times 
when the churches have been cold and unspiritual and 
have hardly lisped the first syllable of the Christian 
Gospel. There have been times when the churches 
have approximated the society around them and have 
>BookI, Seo. 131. 



20 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

been hardly a whit better than the world of paganism. 
There have been times when the leaders of the churches 
have been so selfish and corrupt as to bring upon them- 
selves the scorn and contempt of all right-thinking 
men. There have been times when the churches have 
been so narrow and unspiritual that the men who 
would be Christians have been compelled to go out- 
side their fellowship. And to-day in the churches as 
we find them, in the very best churches of Christen- 
dom, there are many things that are unworthy of 
Christ and bring sad reproach upon His name. In the 
churches of to-day, in the very best of them, there are 
men and women at all stages of immaturity and growth, 
and the line between the Church and the world is at 
best an invisible one. The best that we can say is this, 
that the Church is becoming Christian and it is hence to 
be judged not so much by what it is as by what it is 
coming to be. And yet with it all the Church is here 
as the body of Christ, and it is doing the work of the 
kingdom as no other institution pretends to do it. 

4. The Christian spirit has also created the world- 
wide missionary enterprise, one of the finest achieve- 
ments of the Christian principle. In obedience to the 
commands of the Master men and women have sundered 
the ties of home and have gone forth to the ends of the 
earth to bear the tidings of salvation to the lost. In 
good report and in iU report, enduring great hardships 
and taking their lives in their hands, they have pene- 
trated the frozen north and have crossed burning deserts 
under the equator ; with a patience that never fails and 
with a love that never falters they have sought the lost 
peoples and have loved them into the kingdom. The 
missionary enterprise is the truest internationalism and 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 21 

is one of the clearest witnesses of the world-wide love 
of God. The missionary enterprise is one of the finest 
triumphs of the Christian spirit and in it the very heart 
of Christianity is revealed. 

In this missionary enterprise, as in aU human things, 
there are many offshoots that cause the thoughtful 
Christian some serious misgivings. Some of the mis- 
sionaries have been men of narrow minds who have re- 
garded aU religions outside of Christianity as inven- 
tions of the devil ; and so they have antagonized the 
very people they wanted to help. Some workers have 
been driven on by motives that would not bear the 
light of day; and so their work has not fully com- 
mended the Gospel they preached. Denominational 
rivalries have hindered the work at home and abroad, 
and have disgusted the non-Christian peoples. Inspired 
by a false conception of the kingdom of God men have 
gone from village to village preaching the Gospel for a 
witness, as they called it, and taking little interest in 
the real life of the hearers. But when we have ad- 
mitted aU this the story yet remains half told. For 
some of the best and noblest souls of the world have 
been leaders in the missionary movement ; and many 
men and women have wrought for their backward 
brethren in the most Christly and sympathetic spirit. 
Missionary workers have been real statesmen and have 
laid the foundations of great nations that are yet to be. 
Devoted mission workers have gained the confidence of 
the people and have earned the name of Jesus Christ's 
man. The missionary movement is one of the finest 
triumphs of the Christian spirit, and it stands as some- 
thing wholly unique in the world. 

All this is much, but all this is not all. The achieve- 



22 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

ments noted are great and notable and are worthy of 
all honour. And yet they have not solved the problems 
of the world or brought the redemption of human 
society. In fact, as we shall see, the problems of to-day 
are the most perplexing that have ever confronted the 
Christian worker ; and many students of human affairs 
declare that human society is undergoing a steady and 
disheartening deterioration. This is certain that Chris- 
tianity to-day is coming face to face with a great un- 
finished task which will challenge the faith of the 
Christian worker and will try the power of the Chris- 
tian Gospel. It is not possible and it is not necessary 
here to define this task in detail, for in the chapters that 
follow some aspects of this task are considered. A brief 
survey of the world may however aid us in grasping the 
situation as a whole and in conceiving the task before us. 

II. The Present Situatioit 
It is important that the Christian worker have a 
clear conception of the essential Christian principle. 
It is important that he know how Christianity has un- 
folded and what it has done in the ages past. But it is 
essential no less that he know his own age and un- 
derstand the task to which he is directly called. 

1. To-day approximately one-third of the race is 
nominally Christian and there is a section of the world, 
which includes a dozen leading nations, that may be 
called Christendom. In this Christendom perhaps one- 
third of the people are directly aifiliated with the 
churches, while a large proportion confess in some way 
their allegiance to Christian principles. But in the 
lands where Christianity originated and the Gospel won 
its first triumphs there remains only a nominal and 



PAST ACfflEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 23 

inert Church with a most formal and unvital Christian- 
ity. In the lands of Europe where Christianity has 
been longest known we behold the tragic spectacle of a 
Church that has lost the allegiance of the people and 
the people turning away from the Church in masses. 
And in other lands where the Church has a stronger 
hold upon the people, we yet find many men challeng- 
ing the Church to show its right to claim the Christian 
name and doubting in their hearts whether it is worth 
while to maintain the institution any longer. 

2. In the generations past known as the Christian 
centuries, many evils have been combated and many 
gains have been made. One evil after another has 
been attacked in the name of Christianity and its power 
has been broken. Like a mighty conqueror the Son of 
Man has marched down the centuries overturning an evil 
here, ending an abuse there, breaking the shackles of 
millions of men, lifting the gates of great empires from 
their hinges and changing the whole drift of history. 
The child has been brought in from the servant's room 
and placed in the midst of the disciples ; the position of 
woman has been changed ; the curse of human slavery 
has been abolished ; gladiatorial shows have been sup- 
pressed ; the prisoner has received some consideration at 
the hands of men, and government has become demo- 
cratic and humane. The record of these Oesta Christi 
fills many pages of history and is a most splendid story 
of victories. But alas ! there is another side to the 
story and this must be told. In the lands where Chris- 
tianity prevails and its victories have been achieved 
other great evils no less fatal and pernicious are 
prevalent and growing. In many so-called Christian 
nations the consumption of alcoholic liquors is steadily 



24: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

increasing ; the proportion of criminals and defectives 
is growing ; in the United States over ten per cent, of 
the marriages end in the divorce court ; and most 
serious venereal maladies threaten the deterioration of 
the race. Of one European country it has been said 
that the people are the most religious and have the 
greatest preachers ; and yet it has more drunkenness 
and illegitimacy than any country in the world. 

3. In this Christendom we find some great cities, 
numbering from two to three millions and from six to 
seven miUions. In these cities are thousands of Chris- 
tian men and women and hundreds of Christian 
churches of one kind and another. And yet in these 
cities there are plague spots, called slums, that con- 
stitute the standing menace of the city and the steady 
shame of our Christianity. The cities of Christendom 
are the heaviest handicaps that Christianity has to bear. 
This is not hearsay and declamation, as any one, alas ! 
can easily ascertain for himself. The evidence in part 
at least is presented in such books as " The Life and 
Labours of the People of London," by Charles Booth ; 
" In Darkest England," by Gen. Wm. Booth ; " How 
the Other Half Lives," by Jacob A. Kiis; "The Bitter 
Cry of the Children," by John Spargo; "If Christ 
Came to Chicago," by Wm. T. Stead. Professor 
Huxley teUs us that in his earlier life he spent some 
years in an East End parish, and what struck him was 
the astonishing dullness and deadness of the existence 
of the whole people. Some years later he made a 
journey around the world and saw savage life in all 
conceivable conditions. " But I can assure you that in 
this experience of mine I saw nothing worse, nothing 
more degrading, nothing so hopeless, nothing nearly so 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 25 

intolerably dull and miserable as the life I had left be- 
hind me in the East End of London ; and had I to 
choose between the life of these people in the East End 
and the life of the savage, I would distinctly choose 
the latter." And he says further that if there is no 
hope of a large improvement of the condition of the 
human family, "I should hail the advent of some 
kindly comet which should sweep the whole affair 
away as a desirable consummation." A recent traveller 
in Africa, Bryden, writes thus : " I have visited nearly 
every native town in Bechuanaland, and I say un- 
hesitatingly that these people are at this moment 
physically and morally better off than thousands of the 
population of our great cities of Great Britain, living 
happier and healthier lives by far than seven-tenths of 
the poor folks at home." "Well then may the Poet 
Laureate sing so sadly : 

Is it well that while we range with science, glory- 
ing in the time, 

City children soak and blacken soul and sense in 
city slime? 

There among the glooming alleys progress halts 
on palsied feet, 

Crime and hunger cast our maidens by the thou- 
sands on the street ; 

There the master scrimps his haggard sempstress 

of her daily bread. 
There a single sordid attic holds the living and 

the dead. 

There the smoldering fire of fever creeps across 

the rotted floor, 
And the crowded couch of incest in the warrens 

of the poor. 

— Locksley Eall : Sixty Years After. 



26 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

The cities of Christendom are the standing reproach 
of Christianity. 

4. One other aspect of the present situation may be 
noted, and this is in some respects the most significant 
and ominous of all. That Uf e may possess unity and 
power man must have a coherent and unified view of 
life and its meaning. In all ancient times religion 
served many purposes in life and in society, but this 
unification of Ufe, this interpretation of life's meaning 
was its chief and commanding purpose. Man's religious 
ideas have often been crude and meagre, and yet they 
have been the last terms in his conception of God and 
the universe ; these conceptions have been pitifully 
limited and provincial, and yet they have given life its 
meaning and duty its urgency. Whether for good or 
ill religion dominated the life of the world and was the 
unifying principle of human society. 

In the nineteen centuries of its history the Christian 
religion has fulfilled an important function in the life 
of man in that it has given life a meaning and has of- 
fered a coherent view of the world and duty. For 
fifteen hundred years and more the Christian world 
lived under the sway of what may be called the church 
view of man and of society. As James Bryce shows in 
his study of mediaeval Christianity, " The whole cycle 
of social and moral duty is deduced from the obliga- 
tion of obedience to the visible autocratic head of the 
Christian state." ' The boundaries of the Church defined 
the horizon of life ; church ideas and church obligations 
determined the duties of man. The Church was the 
special guardian of religion, and religion was the 
special interest of the Church. In fact the Church and 
' " Holy Boman Empire," Chapter V. 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 27 

religion were always associated together and neither 
had much meaning apart from the other. But in these 
latter times, whether for good or for Ul yet remains to 
be seen, the Christian world has outgrown the old 
ecclesiastical conception of life and duty. And to-day 
the church conception of life bulks less and less in the 
life of man and the definition of his duty. 

For one thing the modem state has arisen outside of 
the Church and in a sense in opposition to it. ^' The 
modern world has developed a civilization of a secular 
kind and incorporated it firmly in the modern state. 
Thus the Church finds itself faced by a grave dilemma. 
If she maintains unaltered her ancient claims she is 
driven into ever sharper antagonism with the modern 
world and the modern state ; if, on the other hand, she 
renounces these claims, Christianity becomes increas- 
ingly a concern of the mere individual ; there ceases to be 
any distinctively Christian sphere of life, and the secular 
view and treatment of things threatens entirely to 
supersede the religious dispensation." ' There is a grave 
danger to-day that life may break up into two provinces 
more or less disparate if not antagonistic ; on the one 
side we will have the Church dealing with the religious 
interests of men, and on the other the state concerned 
with the secular things of life. 

This tendency is very marked in other directions. In 
these latter times one department of human interest and 
activity after another has broken away from all control 
by the Church, if not with all connection with it, and 
has created its own ideals and methods. The work of 
general education and charity, the interest of social 
service and reform, once the peculiar interest and con- 
1 Euckeu, " Christianity and the Kew Idealism," p. 122. 



28 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

cern of the Church, now engage the attention and claim 
the devotion of many people who are not members of 
the churches and sometimes have scant patience with 
them. One by one the churches have seen these inter- 
ests of man slip away from them ; little by little these 
forms of service have grown up outside of the churches 
and have created their own institutions. To-day life 
seems to be breaking up into two hemispheres, one called 
Keligion and the other called Social Service. To-day 
much of this work of Social Service goes on outside of 
the churches and with little reference to religion. To 
many people religion is losing its centrality and is be- 
coming simply one interest among many other interests. 
And this interest called religion is regarded by many 
as a somewhat incidental interest, good enough in its 
way and place, but at best something apart from man's 
real and practical Uf e. Let the churches concern them- 
selves with religion, it is said ; but let religion keep to 
its sphere and leave the real world alone. And so it 
has come about that many people in recent times have 
dropped out of the churches, not because they are 
especially irreligious, but because they have found " a 
larger faith and a more practical work for human 
good." ' At any rate great interests of man lie largely 
if not wholly outside the range of the churches' con- 
trol and many of these deny any relation whatever to 
the Church and its ideal. 

The consequences of all this are seen on every hand, 
and these consequences are most serious. For one thing 
society is facing an inner disintegration which threatens 
its peace, if not its very existence. Because the unifying 
ideal is fading and the inner bond is lacking " the mani- 

» Crooker, " The Churoh ol To-day," p. 17. 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 29 

fold divergencies of our material interests make them- 
selves dominantly felt, and in default of counter-influ- 
ences our ways draw more and more apart, we be- 
come increasingly estranged from one another until at 
last we live in wholly separate worlds. Such inward 
disintegration of humanity is already painfully apparent 
to-day ; civilization itself is in many different directions 
in process of rapid dissociation ; a Babylonish confusion 
of speech separating us more and more into rival parties 
and factions is unmistakably spreading, and threatens 
increasingly to end in a helium omnium contra omnes." ' 
" Our age," says Karl Yon Hase, " lacks a coherent view 
of life." Not only so, but man's moral life is distracted 
and torn by competing and conflicting ideas and ideals. 
" Society," we are gravely told, " is ethically bankrupt. 
We have some ethical assets but these are a smaU per- 
centage of our liability. Speaking generally our eth- 
ical capital consists of a heterogeneous collection of 
provincial moralities. . . . But we have no uni- 
versal ethical standard to which one class may appeal 
against another class and get a verdict which the de- 
feated litigant feels bound to accept."^ 

This confusion is seen in every section of society and 
in every group of men, and this confusion is the cause of 
much misunderstanding and conflict. Thus, there is no 
one code of ethics which aU men feel bound to honour 
and by which they agree to be rated. This confusion 
is seen also in the larger groups or estates of society, 
and here it is the cause of much unrest and antagonism. 
Thus society is divided into groups and classes, and 
while each has special interests and regulative tradi- 

'Enoken, "Christianity and the New Idealism," p. 132, 
'Small, " General Sooiology," p. 657. 



30 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHMSTIANITY 

tions of its own, they all have few aims and purposes 
in common. "When disputes arise among these groups 
and classes, as they continually do arise, it is found dif- 
ficult to compose these differences, for the reason that 
each has a different standard of ethics from the others. 
" There is no common ethical appeal. Neither litigants 
nor referees can convince the others that they must 
recognize a paramount standard of right." And hence 
one concludes that " The absence of a common tribunal 
of moral judgment is the most radical fact in our pres- 
ent social situation." ' The world has many good peo- 
ple in it to-day, more we are ready to believe than ever 
before. But these people possess no unifying ideal, no 
organific principle, no coherent view of Ufe, no synthetic 
program of action. Society is coming to self-conscious- 
ness and is beginning to take note of its troubles and 
needs. But it has no clear sense of direction, no or- 
ganizing impulse, no all-inclusive ideal, no mighty im- 
pulsion. The greatest need of to-day, as Frederic Har- 
rison has pointed out, is some human synthesis which 
shall explain man's life and gather up his efforts ; some 
synthesis by which society can order its affairs as a 
whole ; some synthesis which shall give cohesion and 
unity to our humanity in its toils and campaigns. 
" Strange," he says, " that we do not all, day and night, 
incessantly seek for an answer to this of all questions 
the most vital : Is there anything by which our nature 
can gain its unity ; our race acknowledge its brother- 
hood ; our humanity can order its affairs as a whole ? " ' 
The great need of to-day is some social ideal which shall 
put meaning into man's life and courage into his heart, 

' Small, "General Sociology," p. 660. 
' JTte Nineteenth Century, March, 1881. 



PAST ACHIEVEMENTS AND PRESENT TASK 31 

some synthesis which shall unite mankind into one body 
and marshal them as one army to confront the ills of 
the world and to seek the perfection of society. In 
fine, we need some unifying and coherent view of life 
as a whole, some social synthesis which views the many 
departments of man's life as integral parts of life itself 
and justifies these departments in relation to life's grand 
good as a whole, some inclusive program which unites 
all these departments in the development of one com- 
mon Uf e. 

In the nineteen centuries of its history Christianity 
has done much for man and for society. It has won 
the allegiance of millions of noble lives. It has dis- 
solved the doubts of men and has solved some of the 
problems of society. It has permeated the dead lump 
of human society and has set up a great ferment. It 
has cheered millions of pilgrims across the world and 
has lighted the eyes of dying men with visions of the 
Celestial City. It has become the inspiration and the 
potency of countless forms of social service. But Chris- 
tianity has not yet achieved the redemption of the world 
or transformed the lump of human society. It has not 
yet solved the problems confronting the modern world. 
And its present methods and achievements give no as- 
surance of the redemption of the world within any 
measurable time. 

The primary question at issue in this study is not 
whether the world as a whole is growing better or 
worse. We may firmly believe that it is growing bet- 
ter. We may grant that a large part of the progress 
made in the past is due directly and indirectly to the 
truth and power of Christianity. The real question at 
issue to-day is this : Whether the power of Christianity 



32 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

is adequate to the tasks of this modern world ; whether 
in fact it can achieve the redemption of human society 
within any measurable time. The fact that such a con- 
dition exists to-day as we have described shows clearly 
that Christianity has not yet had its perfect work. 
And this suggests the question whether the time has 
not come for Christian men to make a diligent study of 
the Christian idea and ideal, to take a fresh survey of 
the world and its needs, to make a careful appraisal of 
their methods and plans, and to listen again for the 
word which the Spirit is speaking unto the churches. 
It is evident, at any rate, that much work yet remains 
to be done, that some great task is yet to be fulfilled. 
The nature of this unfinished task must now be consid- 
ered; with this fairly before us we shall know the 
special work to which this age is summoned. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Brace : '' Gesta Christi : A History of Humane Progress Under Chris- 
tianity." 

Lecky : "A History of European Morals." 

Crooker : "The Chnrch of To-day. ' ' 

Senate Doonment No. 644 : The Report of the President's Homes 
Commission. 

Brooks: "The Social Unrest." 

Hunter: "Poverty." 

Mathews : "The Church and the Changing Order." 



II 

THE NEW AGE AND ITS PEOBLEMS 

THE world changes and men change with it. 
The world changes and ever new problems 
come to the front and make their insistent 
demand. Every age is, in a sense, peculiar, and has 
problems that are peculiar. This age has a life of its 
own, and so it has problems that are distinctive. 

The present age is a restless and troubled age. Men 
are cumbered about many things and are asking many 
questions. The sign manual of the time is an interro- 
gation point rampant. What we caU our horizon is a 
line of question marks. The word problems is one of 
the most frequent words in common speech to-day. 
The Sphinx, we are told, is sitting by the roadside in 
our Western world and is propounding her fateful 
questions to every passer-by. And these questions 
sweep the circle of man's life and press upon him 
at every point. There are questions confronting the 
Church ; in fact, we are told that the Church is facing 
the most momentous crisis of its long history. There 
are problems troubling society also ; our Western civi- 
lization, it is said, is face to face with social and polit- 
ical problems graver in character and more far-reaching 
in extent than any which have been hitherto encoun- 
tered. In ethics and philosophy we find much the 
same perplexity ; from the theologian and the sociolo- 
gist comes the same sad confession. At every turn 

33 



34r THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

man is confronted with a problem in whose solution he 
is told the whole world is interested. 

There is a sense in which these problems are old 
because they have to do with human Life and social 
progress. In fact, we have some ground for the decla- 
ration that every problem before us to-day is as old as 
the pyramids. But there is a sense also in which these 
problems are wholly new and original. At any rate, 
they wear a different aspect to-day, and the tasks grow- 
ing out of them press at a new point of incidence. 
"What then, it is pertinent to inquire, are the special 
problems of this modern world ? "What are the great 
needs of this time ? "What are the tasks which Chris- 
tianity is now called to fulfill ? 

I. The Social Problem 
1. In these times the race is coming to social self- 
consciousness and men are discovering that they are 
social beings. In these latter days men are gaining 
what has been called the sense of humanity, and they 
are learning that the race is one great unit. To-day 
men are learning to think of humanity, not as a number 
of disconnected and independent individuals, but as the 
interrelated and interdependent members of a living 
society. Our personal life is rooted in the life of hu- 
manity and it flourishes in that soil, deriving its richest 
nourishment from it and living itself because others 
live. One man, says a wise old proverb, is no man. 
Thought is unable to conceive of any such thing as an 
independent human being. "We begin life as sons, and 
we continue it as brothers, fathers, neighbours, friends 
and citizens. In the most real sense we have discovered 
that no man lives to himself and no man dies to hira- 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 35 

self. We have discovered that the race is one, that we 
are bound in the bondage of our fellows and that we 
can become free only in and through their freedom. 
We are all in the same boat, and we must all sink 
together or we must aU be saved together. 

In the light of this social self -consciousness men are 
seeing many things as they never saw them before. 
They are discovering that society is poor and miserable 
and naked and destitute ; they are discovering that 
many members of the race are growing up in conditions 
which practically make impossible a full and worthy 
and human life. They are finding that many persons 
are really disinherited by society and have no real 
heritage in life; they are finding that through the 
toils and sacrifices of the generations past society has 
come into a vast heritage of achievement and resources ; 
and yet through neglect on the part of many or through 
fraud on the part of some this heritage has fallen into 
few hands and the great mass of the people have no 
fair share in it. The fact is, " A large proportion of 
the population in the prevailing state of society take 
part in the rivalry of life only under conditions which 
absolutely preclude them, whatever their natural merit 
or ability, from any real chance therein. They come 
into the world to find the best positions not only 
already fiUed, but practically occupied in perpetuity. 
For, under the great body of rights which wealth has 
inherited from feudalism, we, to aU intents and pur- 
poses, allow the wealthy classes to retain control of 
these positions generation after generation, to the per- 
manent exclusion of the rest of the people." ' 

2. And this brings us face to face with the problem 

'Kidd, "Social Evolution," p. 232. 



36 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

of to-day, called by way of preeminence the Social Prob- 
lem. This problem is the problem of social welfare ; 
the problem how to bring greater happiness and larger 
opportunity to the rank and file of men ; the problem 
how to equalize opportunity and thus enable each life 
to realize its highest capabilities ; the problem how to 
bring the disinherited into the Father's house and give 
them a fair inheritance in society. In any enduring 
commonwealth each man has his place and his work, 
and no society is either rational or Christian till this 
man has found his place and is doing his work. The 
social problem is how to use the resources of society in 
promoting the whole hfe of the people, and thus enab- 
ling the laggards to march with the main army. Of 
all the problems of the modern man, the one which 
towers above all others is the problem of the just 
organization of society so that the heritage of the past 
shall be transmitted to all its members alike. In the 
most real sense we have discovered that mankind is a 
unit and that we are aU bound up together in a soli- 
darity of life and death. There can hence be no per- 
fection for one man or for any part of society so long 
as other men and other sections of society are wronged 
and degraded. The social problem is nothing less than 
the task of bringing greater happiness and larger oppor- 
tunity to the life of all the people that every member 
of society may have power to exercise his natural 
faculties. 

The great problems of to-day are social problems. 
They are not primarily personal problems, and they are 
not distinctively poUtioal problems. The problem to- 
day is not how to make good individuals, for this in a 
way has been solved ; the problem to-day is how to 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 37 

associate these individuals and to make a good society. 
The problems of to-day are not primarily political 
problems, for political liberty and democracy have 
been won in these "Western lands at least ; the problem 
to-day is how to secure industrial democracy and fair 
opportunity for aU ; till this is done the task of de- 
mocracy is not fulfilled and society wiU not be at 
peace. There are persons who make light of all this 
and tell us that there is no social problem at aU. 
There is one problem — only one — they say, and that 
is the problem of sin. This is true enough so far as it 
goes — in fact it is true even to triteness and truism — 
but it does not touch the real heart of the question 
and it is a real evasion of difficulty. The Gospel has 
proved its power to make good individuals — or indi- 
viduals who want to be good ; but thus far these good 
individuals have not learned how to associate them- 
selves and to make a good society, and this is the real 
nib of the difficulty. And there are others who make 
light of this whole problem by teUing us that it is 
only a passing whim, and to-morrow society wiU have 
forgotten all about this problem in some new fad. 
The men who talk in this way are blind leaders of 
the blind and they are among the most dangerous 
men in the world to-day. This social question is more 
than a mere passing whim, for it is a question that 
goes down to the very foundations of society and 
concerns the very future of mankind. "The whole 
problem of how men shall live together, of how they 
shaU share amongst them the goods of Ufe, is up for 
rehearing, and no teaching institution, by whatever 
venerable name it may call itself, will be listened to, 
unless in these matters it can give a sane and coura- 



38 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

geous leadership." ' The fi'oblem of society to-day is the 
social problem. 

II. The Pkesekvation of the Unfit 
1. There is another marked characteristic of this 
age which brings us face to face with a most vital 
problem. One of the most outstanding and hopeful 
features of this time is the new interest in social serv- 
ice. From the very beginning Christianity has been a 
great philanthropic impulse, and in all generations it 
has outflowered in many beautiful forms of loving 
helpfulness. In these times the hamanitarianism of 
Christianity has become most pronounced, and the 
Christian spirit is manifesting itself in the varied forms 
of humanitarian effort. But this very activity of the 
philanthropic spirit creates a problem which is as vital 
as it is puzzling. In fact there are students and workers 
not a few who declare that this effort is misdirected 
and that it is doing more harm than good. " There 
is nothing more dreadful than active ignorance," says 
Goethe, and much of our so-called charitable work 
illustrates this saying. At any rate it is becoming 
very plain that the present methods of philanthropy 
can never achieve the improvement of society ; nay 
more, it is becoming no less plain that some of this 
philanthropic helpfulness really complicates the prob- 
lem and means the degeneracy of the race. 

In all the world of life nature is most exacting in 
her demands and by natural election she imposes the 
death penalty upon aU who are found weak and unfit. 
Thus nature's discipline is inexorable — death to those 
who do not rise to her standard — survival and parent- 

' Brierley, "Our City of God," p. 144. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 39 

age for those who alone do. The struggle is severe 
and the results are tragic to many, but by this proc- 
ess the blood of the tribe is kept comparatively pure 
and the highest efficiency of the clan is maintained. 
" Inconvenience, suffering and death are the penalties 
attached by nature to ignorance as well as incompe- 
tence — are also the means of remedying these. Partly 
by breeding out those of lowest development, and 
partly by subjecting those who remain to the never- 
ceasing discipline of experience nature secures the 
growth of a race who shall both understand the con- 
ditions of existence and be able to act up to them. It 
is best to let the foolish man suffer the penalty of his 
foolishness." ' And this method of nature we are told 
by the scientist and the sociologist is right and proper 
and should be allowed to work out its necessary re- 
sults. Thus Herbert Spencer finds fault with modem 
governmental and social organizations on the ground 
that they are interfering with the beneficial operation 
of the universal law of natural selection. " A sad 
population of imbeciles would our schemers fill the 
world with could their plans last. Why, the whole 
effort of nature is to get rid of such — to clear the 
world of them and make room for better." To the 
same purport speaks the sociologist: thus Prof. E. 
A. Boss says : " The shortest way to make this world 
a heaven is to let those so inclined hurry heUward at 
their own pace." Hence he deduces the social canon : 
" Social interference should not be so paternal as to 
check the self-extinction of the moraUy ill-consti- 
tuted." ^ 

'Spencer, " Social Statics, Sanitary Supervision." 
• " Social Control," p. 423. 



40 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

2. But man — nature's insurgent son — ^has come upon 
the scene and is resisting this decree of nature ; by his 
will he is modifying " not only man's own history but 
that of the whole living world and the face of the planet 
on which he exists. Man is nature's rebel. Where 
nature says die, man says, I wUl live." ' Not only 
so, but Christian man has further resisted the natural 
process and has sought to keep alive the weak and 
sickly, the mal-endowed and the defective, and has 
made it possible for them both to survive and to per- 
petuate their kind. This is not all, but in these latter 
times he has called to his aid the resources of science 
and the skill of surgery to keep the most unpromising 
alive and to shield them from the sentence of death. 
All this is proper and right, and every lover of his kind 
must rejoice in this growing dominance of the Christian 
spirit. Modern society being more and more motived 
by the spirit of Christ, will never allow the defective 
and unfit to live uncared for and to die unpitied. In 
fact as time goes on the Christian spirit will more and 
more summon to its aid scientific knowledge to keep 
the weakest from perishing and to keep the sickly 
alive. 

By all this, as careful students and workers have 
shown, there is created one of the most vital problems 
that has ever confronted the human race. In all this, 
as Professor Lankester shows, the standard raised by 
the rebel man is different from the standard held aloft 
by nature. Nature's standard is fitness and adaptation 
on the one side, and efficiency and worth to society on 
the other. Man's standard is food and life for all, and 
he measures success by the number of beings he can 
'Lankester, " The Kingdom of Man," p. 26. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 41 

keep in life. By this means the weakly and the unfit 
are kept alive and permitted to propagate after their 
kind, and thus society accumulates a vast number of 
unadjusted human beings ; nay worse, by this means 
man defeats the process of natural selection, which en- 
sures the elimination of the unfit ; and he multiplies the 
number of defectives and dependents in society ; worse 
still man in keeping alive these persons of tainted blood 
and defective mind and making it possible for them to 
multiply after their kiud, is poisoning the blood of the 
race and is reaUy promoting the degeneracy of mankind. 
This is no boon, certainly it is no benefit to the race ; 
nay, as aU careful thinkers see, this is an unparalleUed 
calamity from the point of view of the race, and is 
simply preparing the world for disaster and de- 
generacy. 

3. What then is demanded by this crisis in human 
affairs ? What is the answer to this Sphinx riddle of 
social evolution ? We must do far more than aim to 
keep the sickly alive and preserve the mal-endowed 
from inevitable extinction ; we must do far more than 
remove hindrances from man's way and enable bitn to 
survive and propagate. We must do more than the 
works of charity, such as feeding the hungry, nursing 
the sick, keeping the weakly aUve, shielding the mal- 
endowed from destruction. We must now declare that 
every Ufa shall begin its existence weU-endowed and 
capable and strong. We must guarantee that there 
shall be no unfit and defective members in society to 
be a burden to themselves and to hinder the upward 
march of the race. We must create such conditions in 
society as shall make it possible for every life to grow 
up tall and strong and pure and fit. 



42 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

This is a vast undertaking, we admit, and it calls for 
a synthetic, scientific, sociological and Christian pro- 
gram, but nothing less than this is the task set before 
man to-day, and no other kind of program can meet the 
exigency of the crisis. That is to say, " civilized man 
has proceeded so far in his interference with extra-hu- 
man nature, has produced for himself and the living or- 
ganism associated with him such a special state of 
things by his rebellion against natural selection and his 
defiance of nature's pre-human dispositions, that he must 
either go on and acquire firmer control of the condi- 
tions, or perish miserably by the vengeance certain to 
fall on the half-hearted meddler with great affairs." 
In other words. Christian man must now learn how to 
appraise all the factors that enter into the life of man, 
heredity, environment, personal wiU and divine grace, 
and must so use these factors that together they shall 
work for man's whole progress and perfection ; he must 
know how to manage all the forces of the universe for 
the advantage and superiority of the race ; he must be- 
gin to subsidize and use the mighty agencies of the 
Church, the Family, the State and the School in behalf 
of these great ends. There is no retreat for him from 
this way ; he must control these forces and factors ; he 
must resolutely undertake the larger work of social re- 
form and reconstruction ; in fine, Christian effort to-day 
must be much wider in its scope than church evangel- 
ism and personal regeneration ; Christian charity must 
do more than run soup kitchens and build hospitals ; it 
must become social, industrial, scientific and sociological, 
and must seek the redemption of society. The problem 
of philanthropy to-da/y is the problem of social recon- 
struction. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 43 

III. The Failuee of Individual Efeoet 
One other line of inquiry may be followed, and at its 
end we will discover the great problem before us. One 
other aspect of the present problem may be noted, and 
then the great task wiU be clearly suggested. 

1. As every one knows, great things have been done 
in the name of Christ during the past nineteen cen- 
turies. Millions of souls have been turned from sin 
unto righteousness, and have been saved for lives of 
purity and power. Great changes have been wrought 
in human society and many an evil has gone never to 
return. No one who has studied history is inclined to 
minimize these results or to ignore these Oesta ChrisU. 
But thus far in the history of Christian effort men have 
thrown chief emphasis upon the salvation of individuals, 
and as a consequence they have hardly contemplated 
the salvation of society. 

The fact is that the methods thus far followed have 
not produced the largest results and they have not by 
any means wrought the redemption of the world. And 
the fact is also that the method of individual work for 
individuals gives no hope of the salvation of society 
within any measurable time. It would be a gross mis- 
statement to say that the social and moral condition of 
the cities of the world has not improved at all in his- 
toric times, but it is the simple truth to say that the 
progress in these cities is so slow and uncertain as to 
be almost unnoticed. It is needless here to adduce 
evidence indicting the great cities of Christendom, for 
this evidence is known to all. London is confessedly 
the greatest city in the world ; and yet London is the 
standing reproach of Christendom. Thus General Booth 
says: "Talk about Dante's Hell and all the horrors 



44 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

and cruelties of the torture chamber of the lost ! The 
man who walks with open eyes and bleeding heart 
through the shambles of our civilization needs no such 
fantastic images of the poet to teach him horror." 
Huxley's striking descriptions of conditions in the East 
End of London are well known ; and he declares that 
among the lowest savages of New Guinea he had found 
that the surroundings were more conducive to a decent 
and moral existence than in some parts of the city 
wilderness ; and if he had to choose between the 
two most distinctly he would choose the former. 
In London it is found that there is a Submerged 
Tenth, caught by the maelstrom and sinking in the 
flood, abandoned and despairing, without God and 
without hope. Above this is a larger class in poverty, 
— at least thirty per cent, of the total, — who are 
unable to obtain those necessaries of life which will 
permit them to maintain a state of physical efficiency. 
In Scotland also, according to official figures, over one- 
third of the families live in a single room, and more 
than two-thirds in only two rooms. The man who 
walks through the wynds and closes of Edinburgh and 
Glasgow with open eyes is tempted at times to call for 
the crack of doom to come and end it all. 

"What is true of London is no less true of New York 
City. It is true that economic conditions are somewhat 
better here than in the Old World, but none the less 
the facts are appalling. In 1890, according to Bishop 
Huntington, " recent certified revelations have laid bare 
the multiplied horrors and depravities of the tenement 
population in great cities, where forty-one out of every 
hundred families live in a single room, and where the 
poorest pay more for rent than the richest for every 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 45 

cubic foot of space and air." New York is one of the 
richest states in the Union, and yet the reports of the 
State Board of Charities show that from year to year 
about twenty-four per cent, of the people apply for 
relief of some kind. And most tragic of all, from year 
to year ten per cent, of all those who die in New York 
City are buried in Potter's Field. In 1900 in New 
York State a commission was created to investigate 
tenement conditions in New York City. After several 
days' investigation in sUent amazement the up-state 
members of the commission declared " New York ought 
to be abolished." 

2. In these and other cities of Christendom Chris- 
tian men have been at work for generations and for 
centuries preaching the Gospel of Christ, seeking to 
save souls, building churches and founding hospitals. 
And yet to-day, as we study the social and moral con- 
dition of these cities, it is not easy to see wherein they 
are improving from generation to generation. Indeed, 
there are thoughtful people not a few who declare that 
the great cities of the world are degenerating and that 
the churches are steadily losing ground. Be all this as 
it may, be there any real progress or not, the fact re- 
mains that the progress is so slow and so disappointing 
that we can hardly measure its gains. In these cities 
millions of people are unblessed by the Gospel and live 
without any of the things that make for admiration, 
hope and love. 

On the one side we have the spectacle of millions of 
people alienated from the churches and wholly indif- 
ferent to the gospel message. The churches are for 
the fortunate few, they say ; religion is good enough 
for those who have time for it. And on the other side 



46 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

we see tlie Christian worker baflaed at every turn by 
social conditions and fenced away from the people by 
impassable economic barriers. While conditions are as 
they are it is almost impossible to reach the people with 
the gospel message ; and while conditions are as they 
are it is almost impossible for the convert to preserve 
his integrity. At this rate, by our present methods, 
the kingdom will never come in any measurable time ; 
the redemption of these cities by our present methods 
is so remote that it can hardly be considered as a 
human contingency. With economic and social condi- 
tions as they are in these cities it is practically impos- 
sible to reach many of the people with the Gospel. 
With home conditions as they are and with so many 
suggestions to evil on every hand the gospel worker is 
seriously handicapped and finds himself thwarted at 
every turn. By the individuaUstio method of work, 
that is, by individual work on individuals, there is no 
near prospect of the redemption of these cities. With 
conditions as they are, that is, with the environment as 
it is, and with so many handicaps as now exist, the 
saving of these cities is an indefinite possibility. The 
problem of Christian work to-da/y is the problem of 
social worTc. 

IV. The Solidaeitt of Humanity 
1. There is one other fact and factor that must be 
noted here, for it has direct bearing upon the question 
before us. In the past generation or two man has 
slowly grown into the conception of one of the most 
potent truths of life, the Solidarity of Humanity. 
The race is now gainiag what has been called the 
sense of humanity and men are learning that the race 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 47 

is a unit. The providences of God, the processes of 
life, and the progress of society are revealing the unity 
of the world and the oneness of mankind, and are 
making explicit in human thought what has from the 
beginning been impUcit in human life. In the light 
of scientific investigation men are coming to see that 
the unity of the race is no fiction, but the most real 
and potent of facts. In the light of sociological 
thought also men are coming to perceive the implica- 
tions and meanings of this great truth. And in the 
light of this truth of human solidarity men are com- 
ing to perceive the larger meaning of those texts of 
Scripture that teach the unity of the race in sin and 
redemption. And out of it all there is coming to men 
the conviction that the centuries and the generations 
are aU bound up together in the one bundle of life, 
that the first man's life is so linked in with the last 
man's life that one without the other cannot be- 
come perfect, and that men are all unitedly to attain 
unto the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the per- 
fect man, unto the measure of the stature of the full- 
ness of Christ. 

" The crowning discovery of modern physical science 
is the unity of the universe, the oneness of all things 
visible and invisible in one great system of matter 
and force and law." ' The universe we have discov- 
ered is one, and atom is linked with atom and star is 
bound to star by ties that cannot be broken. The 
fruitfulness of our fields, the comfort of our homes, 
the very habitability of our globe depend upon the 
conditions of a body a hundred million of miles dis- 
tant. There is no atom which does not influence the 

Lemuel Moss, "Missionary Centenary Addresses," p. 173. 



48 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

entire universe. " I say," protests Carlyle, in striking 
phraseology, "there is no Ked Indian hunting by 
Lake "Winnipeg can quarrel with his squaw, but the 
whole world must smart for it ; wiU not the price of 
beaver rise? It is a mathematical fact that the 
casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre 
of gravity of the universe." ' The world is an organic 
totality and all things move together because all things 
are linked together. One thing is as it is because all 
other things are as they are. The simplest fact im- 
plies and involves the whole universe of truth. To 
know any single fact in the world in its causes and 
results is to know all facts from the hour when the 
morning stars sang together till the " last syllable of 
recorded time." 

"Flower in the crannied wall, 
I pluck you out of the crannies, 
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, 
Little flower — but if I could understand 
"What you are, root and all, and all in all, 
I should know what God and man is." 

That is both exquisite poetry and exact science. To 
know one thing is to know all things. 

2. These facts of the physical and material world 
are only parables of human life and its relationships. 
"When we come to the study of man we find that this 
truth of solidarity is most luminous and most fateful. 
The most certain fact about man is his relationships 
with other men. The race is one and not many ; it 
is an organic whole and it cannot be resolved into 
a number of isolated individuals each complete in him- 
self and each sufficient unto himself. The very con- 

' "Sartor Kesartus, Organic FUamenta." 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 49 

ception of an individual implies a larger whole of 
which the individual is but a part. The individual 
is nothing apart from the life of the race ; and the 
life of the race finds expression in and through the 
life of the individual. The Gulf Stream is in the 
ocean and the ocean is in the Gulf Stream. Society 
is the fundamental fact and is an essential condition 
to the development of personality. " It would be as 
impossible to develop a personality without human 
society as it would to convey sound in a vacuum or 
to sustain life without an atmosphere." ' There can 
be self-consciousness only through social consciousness. 
We know ourselves because we know others. Man by 
the very constitution of his being is a creature of rela- 
tionships, and it is only in and through these relation- 
ships that he comes to maturity and power. The law 
is written deep and clear in the nature of man that 
man comes to man's estate in and through fellowship. 
The law does not read : You ought not to break fellow- 
ship with your kind and seek to live for yourself alone. 
The law really reads: You cannot live by yourself 
alone and be a man. Forever we shall be members 
one of another, dependent one upon the other, rising 
or falling as our feUows rise or faU. The whole race 
is bound up together in a solidarity of life and in- 
terests and responsibilities. Each member supplements 
the others, and he lives himself by helping others live. 
For good or ill our fortunes are in the keeping of the 
race ^and we are made rich or poor in the riches or 
poverty of all. We are the poorer or the richer, the 
weaker or the stronger, the better or the worse, for the 
virtues and vices, the diseases or the health, the indus- 

1 Jones, "Social Law in the Spiritual World," p. 53. 



50 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

try or the indolence of the people who perished in 
other lands before the Pyramids were built. The sins 
and mistakes of long dead empires cast their shadows 
over our civilization and we must pay the penalty of 
crimes committed by forgotten and unknown nations. 
3. Two things are implied in this which we must 
notice but cannot consider in detail. First : To have 
good men we must have a good social order. It is 
not necessary to discuss this in full, for some aspects 
of this fact will be considered in a later chapter ; but 
we note here the problem which we discuss later. The 
newer psychology recognizes that we are influenced in 
our deeper and more temperamental dispositions by the 
life habits and modes of conduct of unnumbered hosts 
of ancestors, which like a cloud of witnesses are pres- 
ent throughout our lives, and that our souls are echo 
chambers in which their whispers reverberate.' The 
individual is made before he becomes aware of his indi- 
viduality. For this reason they who would begin the 
work of man's salvation with the individual begin too 
far up the scale for their efforts to be fuUy effective. 
The individual is himself a result and a social product 
and we must therefore go behind him to ensure com- 
plete success. The fact is a thousand things are deter- 
mined in the life and decided for the individual before 
he has come to self-consciousness and self-determina- 
tion. Heredity has done much, and the early atmos- 
phere has done more. His life has received form and 
shape before ever his own reason and will have any 
voice in the matter. The recognition of this simple 
fact will clear the air and make useless a number of 
cant phrases. 

'Stanley Hall, " Adolesoeuoe," Part II, p. 61. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 51 

For this reason they who say that the whole problem 
of life and salvation is a personal problem ignore 
some of the most vital facts of life. "We are told that 
the questions of crime and poverty, intemperance and 
failure are wholly individual questions. If men are 
vicious it is because they prefer vice to virtue. If they 
are criminals it is because they have chosen a criminal 
course. If they are poor it is because they are ineffi- 
cient or slothful. If they make a failure of life it is 
because they neglect their opportunities and are not 
wilUng to pay the price of success. There is some 
truth here, but like many half truths it may become a 
whole falsehood. Granted that one man chooses to fol- 
low a vicious life ; but why does he choose it ? Granted 
that another is inefficient and misses his chances in life ; 
yet why is he blind and inefficient? The answer is 
hidden in the mystery of personality, we are told; 
man chooses as he does because he is what he is. But 
as an explanation this explains nothing. "Why does 
man prefer and choose the evil rather than the good ? 
It is aU a matter of natural depravity, we are assured ; 
man is evil and being evil he naturally prefers evil to 
good. Then why do not all men so choose all of the 
time and under all circumstances ? It is the grace of 
God acting upon the hearts and wills of men that move 
and induce them to refuse the evil and choose the good, 
we are informed. Then does this imply that the grace 
of God comes to some men with irresistible power and 
not to all men in the same way ? The deeper we go 
into human life the more clear it becomes that many 
things influence the will and induce certain courses of 
conduct. As a matter of fact heredity determines much 
in life; it determines whether a life shall begin its 



52 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

journey with tainted blood and weighted will ; it de- 
termines in a large measure the power of the soul to 
see visions and dream dreams. Then, from the hour 
of birth environment begins to colour and influence the 
life and to decide whether one shall have a bent 
towards good or towards evil, and shall find it hard or 
easy to do right. All the way through life, out of the 
environment come many voices, some sweet and tender 
and cheering, some harsh and repellent and tempting, 
■ to woo the soul into the way of light and love or to 
drive it away into darkness and evil. Granted that 
the wiU is a creative first cause ; granted that every 
man is the maker of his own life and the son of his 
own deeds ; yet as a matter of fact the atmosphere in 
which he lives affects his whole inner life and exerts 
a constant pressure upon his will. And so it is that 
from the cradle to the grave environment acts and re- 
acts upon the life to move it and to mould it. The 
most fateful years in life are the first five ; and this is 
the time when the life is subject to its environment and 
before self -consciousness and self-direction are aroused. 
In a large sense man's life has its bent and direction, 
its colour and tone before it has begun to reason and 
choose. It is a fact accepted by aU leading sociologists 
that man is a psychic being; the world of human 
society is not the grinding of machinery but the play of 
psychic factors. That is to say, men's sentiments, feel- 
ings, ideas and ideals determine their thought and voli- 
tions. Analyzing these more in detail we may say that 
their sentiments and ideas, of freedom and love, of 
justice and honesty, and the like determine their actions 
and conduct. But where do men get their notions and 
ideas ? They do not drop ready made out of the sky. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 53 

And they do not grow up spontaneously out of the soil 
of human life. They are derived rather from "the 
actual life of simple and wide-spread forms of society, 
like the family, or the play group." Men's ideas of 
justice and right, of honesty and goodness, are part and 
parcel of their whole psychic experience ; as any one 
can see for himself men's particular conceptions of what 
is right and wrong, just and unjust are coloured and 
determined by their particular social atmosphere and 
social fellowship. The standards are social before they 
are individual ; before the individual is old enough to 
discern for himself between right and wrong he has 
lived in the presence of social standards which have 
determined his particular judgments. "We say that 
men ought to do right and love God ; but they will not 
want to do right unless right is a part of the group 
standard ; they wiU not be interested in religious things 
unless they are suggested by their social atmosphere. 
In the most real sense to have good men we must have 
a good social order. 

Second : To save one we mmst save all. According 
to the Christian Scriptures the human race has become 
involved with Adam in a solidarity of sin and need ; 
through the disobedience of one the many are made 
sinners ; in some way the sin of the first man reaches 
through all his descendants and affects every child 
born into the world.' There have been statements of 
this truth so hard, so repugnant, so artificial that they 
have cast a shadow across the eternal throne and have 
outraged the best instincts of humanity. That men 
should outgrow these conceptions, that they should 
turn from them in weariness and wrath, is perhaps in- 

' Som. V, 



54 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

evitable and necessary. But strangely enougli in this 
time when the old theological doctrine is losing its hold 
upon men the study of sociology is enunciating the same 
truth in terms even more positive and inclusive. To- 
day it is becoming most certain that the sia of one man 
reaches through all generations and affects every child 
of the human race. The race is so truly one that the sin 
of the first man lives on in others involving endless and 
world-wide consequences. Call it what we will, — terms 
signify little — the fact remains that the race is involved 
in a solidarity of sin and need and bondage. The evil 
results of one man's deeds do not end with the person 
but they involve and affect all the relations of his being. 
" Humanity is not an aggregate of atoms ; it rather re- 
sembles a tree whose leaves are distinct while at the 
same time they partake of the common life and quali- 
ties of the stem with which they are organically con- 
nected." ' As the diseased hand affects the health of 
the whole body, so the condition of one man affects 
the life of the whole race. 

Not only so, but the sin in the heart of man ex- 
presses and realizes itself in and through the multiplex 
relations of his being and vitiates them all. Sin may 
reveal itself not only in the individual life in wrong 
motives but in the social realm in wrong relations. It 
may embody itself in wrong sentiments, in selfish cus- 
toms, in unjust practices, in hurtful institutions. So- 
ciety instead of being the kindly matrix in which the 
unfolding life is nurtured iuto fullness of being and 
beauty of character becomes the malignant nurse by 
whom the incipient life is hurt and poisoned. No man 
need be a social philosopher to know that something is 
' Somerville, "St, Paul's Conception of Chriat," p. 86. 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 55 

wrong in the social, the political, the iaduatrial rela- 
tions of men. The sin and selfishness in the heart and 
will of man manifest themselves in the manifold acts 
of his being and permeate the multiform relations of 
his life. But even beyond this the actions of man may 
have a wider reach and may involve cosmic conse- 
quences. In reading the account of the beginnings of 
sin in Genesis we find the intimation that in some way 
nature became involved in the sin of man. Milton 
says: 

" Earth felt the wound, and nature from her seat 
Sighing through all her works, gave sign of woe 
That all was lost." 

The Scriptures give no warrant for the doctrine that 
matter in itself is evil ; but they plainly imply that the 
ground has been cursed for man's sake. The poison in 
the heart of man has passed out into the unconscious 
instruments and circumstances of his crime and has af- 
fected them. "According to the Bible there would 
appear to be some mysterious sympathy between man 
and nature. Man not only governs nature but he in- 
fects and informs her. As the moral life of the soul 
expresses itself in the physical life of the body for the 
latter's health or corruption, so the conduct of the 
human race affects the physical life of the universe to 
the farthest Mmits of space." ' Paul declares that the 
whole creation became subject to vanity in and through 
man and it groans and travails together with man, 
waiting for the redemption of man. Between man and 
nature there is the most vital bond of unity and soli- 

•Geo, Adam Smith, "Isaiah," Vol. I, p. 419. 



56 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

darity. In some way the sin of man has projected it- 
self into the physical world and has corrupted and des- 
olated it. Sin is a kind of dynamic introduced into 
the scheme of nature which fills it with confusion and 
disorder. The laws of nature continue as before, as 
Horace Bushnell has pointed out, but the conjunction 
of causes is unnatural ; man sets causes to work whose 
outcome in nature is malevolent and destructive. We 
know only too sadly how the misdeeds of men have 
cast a shadow and blight over the whole animal crea- 
tion. We know also how man's greed and blunders 
have turned some of the fairest spots of earth into hot- 
beds of fever and disease. Many of the once most 
fertile lands of the globe are now barren wastes because 
of the crimes and abuses of man. 

According to the Scriptures the second Adam has 
come and has wrought the redemption of the world. 
We have seen how the whole race is involved in a soli- 
darity of sin and need ; how the whole social order is 
affected, and how the whole creation itself is involved 
in travail and expectation waiting for the redemption 
of man. This truth, so solemn, so real, so momentous 
does not stand alone but is parallelled and matched by 
the other great truth that the world in Christ has be- 
come partaker in a solidarity of redemption and life, a 
redemption that is world-wide, all-inclusive, as broad as 
the creation itself. Many things are implied in this 
which are worthy of the most careful consideration; 
but we can notice only one or two here. 

This means for one thing that the redemption is 
wide-reaching and all-inclusive. There have been in- 
terpretations of Christianity so hard, so narrow, so ex- 
clusive that we do not wonder the world has turned 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 57 

away in disappointinent and despair. The great word 
redemption has been used in such a narrow and me- 
chanical sense that it has been robbed of its divine and 
wonderful meaning. Eedemption is a most compre- 
hensive word and compasses every relation and realm 
of man's being. The meaning of the word circum- 
scribes a circle which gathers up in its significance the 
whole purpose of God in the world. The man who is 
completely saved is saved in all his relations, body, 
mind and spirit, family, church and society. The re- 
demptive purpose of Christ is as wide as human life 
and as comprehensive as the kingdom of God. This re- 
demption is a unity, a whole, a totality ; it means that 
man cannot be saved in sections and fragments ; no 
man is completely saved till he is saved in all the rela- 
tions of his being and all the realms of his life. 

This means further that the redemption of one man is 
fulfilled in and through the redemption of his fellows. 
"The individual is only a citizen," says Martensen, 
" and can therefore also only become perfected with the 
whole people of God on earth." ' Life is a matter of re- 
lationships and the rightening and perfecting of these 
relations is the redemption and fulfillment of life. Each 
term of a relation involves the fortune and fate of the 
other. A relation is not perfect while either term is 
imperfect. The redemption of man is the rightening 
of the relations of his being, and the work of redemp- 
tion goes forward as fast and as far as these relations 
are rightened. And so it becomes evident that the re- 
demptive purpose of Christ is fulfilled in and through 
the redemption of the family and social relationships 
of man, as well as through his personal and spiritual 
'"Ethioa, Individual," p. 166. 



58 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

being. The crowning, culminating thought of revela- 
tion is not the salvation of men out of the world, but 
the salvation of men in the world ; it is not an indi- 
vidual but a social goal. The Holy City which he 
" who saw the Apocalypse " reveals is not so much a 
place as a people ; it is a city in which human life is 
most intense, human dependencies are most real and 
human ministries are most necessary. Upon our sight 
there breaks the vision of a city in which dwelleth 
righteousness, a humanity by the services and sacrifices 
of its members building itself up in love, in which each 
man seeking the welfare of others has supplied to Mm 
that which is lacking in himself, a humanity growing 
up into Christ in all things through the mutual exchange 
of spiritual services and fellowships. Our very ideal 
forbids us to hope to attain self-completeness and self- 
sufficiency. The perfection of each man here or here- 
after is bound up with the perfection of the whole peo- 
ple of God. No man can attain unto salvation in all 
the reach and fullness of the word till the world of 
which he is a part is saved. Not until the race is 
finally made one in Christ, not until the last man is in 
right relations with his fellows so that the fellowship 
of each with all and aU with each is complete, can man 
be fully saved and made perfect. Perfection in the 
sense of self-sufficiency is out of the question for this 
world and for any world. No man can be perfect in 
an imperfect world. 

And this redemptive purpose involves and demands 
the redemption of the whole social order. The ulti- 
mate purpose of God in the world contemplates the 
creation of a perfect man in a perfect society. These 
two elements and factors, the person and the society, 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 59 

blend into one and each implies the other. Nothing 
less or lower than the perfection of man can be accepted 
as the end of Christianity. But careful analysis shows 
that this implies and involves the perfection of the in- 
dividual and of the society ; the redemption of man is 
fulfilled in and through the perfection of his personal 
and his social life ; and the one process goes forward 
just as fast and as far as the other. It is only as man 
comes into relations with other men that he comes into 
the full knowledge of himself ; it is only as he attains 
to the realization of the social end that he can attain 
unto the realization of the personal end. " In so far as 
we come into relations to other human beings in the 
world, we are attaining to a partial realization of the 
ideal which our rational nature sets before us. And 
there is no other way by which we can come to such a 
realization. It is only in the lives of other human 
beings that we can find a world in which we can be 
at home." ' There is a great deal more in this than is 
sometimes supposed. The person and the society are 
mutually and intimately means and ends, causes and 
effects. " In the fulfillment of this for ourselves there is 
mvolved the realization of the lives of other intelligent 
beings ; since it is only in the fulfillment of their intel- 
ligent natures that our own can receive its fulfillment." "^ 
No man can make the most of himself except in and 
through the common life. Men can enter into the full- 
ness of life and blessedness only in and through the life 
and blessedness of mankind. What God wiUs for one 
man can be realized only through what He wiUs for all 
men. 

'Mackenzie, " Introdnction to Social Philosophy," p. 260. 
•iJid., p, 261. 



60 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

And now we begin to see the bearing of all this upon 
the subject before us. To save a man is to save him in 
all the relations of his being. To save others is the 
only way to be saved oneself. We can realize our true 
selves only by realizing social ends. Humanity is 
bound in the bondage of the least and lowliest of the 
race. " Eemember them that are in bonds," pleads the 
Apostle, "as bound with them." The bondage, the 
shame, the misery of one is the burden, the shame, and 
misery of all. "No man can be happy," Herbert 
Spencer reminds us, " till all are happy ; and no man 
can be free till all are free." " There will be no true 
culture," says William Clarke, " but only a dilettante- 
ism, until we have a common culture." " There wiU be 
no pure air for the correctest Levite to breathe," says 
Prof. Henry Jones, " till the laws of sanitation have 
been applied to the moral slums." The fortune and fate 
of the men on the other side of the globe are our for- 
tune and interest. Society may draw its imaginary 
lines of national and social distinctions and may resolve 
that Jews shall have no dealings with Samaritans. But 
the facts of solidarity take no account of these imagi- 
nary lines. The lowest man in the race reaches up and 
touches the highest. The plague and pestilence bred 
in the social quagmire are sometimes the most effective 
preachers of human brotherhood, and teach in emphatic 
terms that God hath made of one blood all nations of 
men. We may walk the streets with no concern for 
our brothers, but a hot breath from a neglected brother 
may send us home to sicken and die. There is no one 
section of society which can isolate and insulate itself 
from the world of which it is a part and be secure and 
at peace. The sin, the misery, the need of the last man 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 61 

are our burden, our shame, our reproach. The fate of 
one people is interwoven with the fate of all people. 
As no nation can exist half slave and half free, so the 
world cannot exist half Christian and half pagan. The 
Christianity of one part must hold itself in trust to 
transform the paganism of the other part; and the 
paganism of one part lowers the tone of the other. 
The kingdom of God cannot fuUy come in any nation 
till it comes in aU nations. Not one square yard of the 
earth's surface can be fuUy Christianized till the whole 
earth is Christian. There are no Chinese walls high 
enough to shut in one nation and to shut out aU foreign 
influences. To purify and save the hf e of Britain or 
America it is necessary to save and purify the life of 
Hongkong and Constantinople. In the most real sense 
the redemption and perfection of one man implies and 
necessitates the redemption and perfection of the whole 
social order. In and through the redemption and per- 
fection of human society the redemption and progress 
of the one man is realized and fulfilled. TJw problem 
of salvation to-day is ths problem of social salvation. 

The lines of inquiry, as any one can see, all converge 
at one point and lead to the one conclusion. The great 
problems before men to-day are social problems, and 
being such they require a social solution. Crime, pov- 
erty, misery, failure, — some of the social problems of 
this time — aU have social causes, and hence they can 
be cured, if they are cured at aU, not by individual ef- 
fort alone but by coUeotive action. Social conditions 
determine a hundred things in human lives, both be- 
fore and after conversion ; and social conditions by the 
very nature of the case cannot be changed by individ- 
ual effort alone. The social problem itself — the prob- 



62 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

lem how men are to live together in justice and peace 
and share in the common inheritance on terms of 
equality, the problem how to remove the social and 
economic handicaps that are upon many and to give 
them a fair start in life, the problem how to equalize 
opportunity and thus enable each life to realize its 
highest capabilities, the problem how to use the re- 
sources of society in promoting the welfare of the peo- 
ple and of bringing the disinherited into the family 
circle and giving them a true inheritance in life, is a 
social problem and can be solved only by social action. 
The work of philanthropy has a social aspect and it re- 
quires social action. Christian charity we all admit is 
very beautiful, the charity that feeds the hungry, 
nurses the sick, visits the prisoner and lifts the fallen ; 
but charity alone, the charity that deals with results 
and never cures causes, can never achieve the salvation 
of society and permanently benefit mankind. Social 
love, the love that goes back to causes, that helps men 
to help themselves, that deals with the causes and con- 
ditions of crime and poverty and misery, that seeks to 
remove bad causes and to set good causes to work, that 
seeks to understand the mighty factors of heredity and 
environment and enlists them in the work of man's re- 
demption, — this social love and this alone can achieve 
the permanent progress of the race and cure the ills of 
society. The work of city saving to-day is a social 
problem and as such it requires social action. 

And last of all, the work of men in behalf of man's 
redemption must be social no less than individual in its 
aim and method. Christian effort to-day must be so- 
cial as well as personal ; it must seek to turn men unto 
righteousness and it must associate men in right rela- 



THE NEW AGE AND ITS PROBLEMS 63 

tions ; it must lift up the fallen and it must remove the 
stumbling-blocks over which men stumble; it must 
save men from sin, and it must make straight paths for 
men's feet ; it must seek to make men like Christ, and 
it must seek to bmld a social order in which one can 
practice the virtues of Christianity ; iu short it must 
create a social order that shall make for the strength, 
the development, the protection, the perfection, of all 
its members. Thus the whole problem sums itself up 
in the one problem how to socialize men, how to asso- 
ciate them in right relations, how to set them upon 
their feet and enable them to maintain their footing in 
society, how to use all the resources of society in be- 
half of all the people, how to make a just and fraternal 
and Christian social order, how to make a perfect man 
in a perfect society. 



BIBLIOGEAPHY 
Hobson : "The Social Problem." 
Lankester : "The Kingdom of Man." 
Batten: "The Redemption of the Unfit," The American Journal of 

Sociology, September, 1908. 
Strong : "The Challenge of the City." 
Henderson: " Modern Methods of Charity." 



Ill 

THE SOCIAL NATUEE OF CHEISTIANITY 

THE processes of ^history are setting before the 
men of to-day some problems which they 
can neither evade nor deny. And the provi- 
dences of God are summoning the men of this time to 
a great task which they must accept and f ulfiE ia all its 
length and breadth. The nature of these processes is 
suggested in what has been said in the preceding 
chapter concerning the problems and conditions of 
society. The character of this task is made very plain 
in what follows in this chapter concerning the social 
nature of Christianity. In that chapter we saw that 
several lines of inquiry converge at the same point and 
lead to the same conclusion. In this chapter we may 
see that several other lines of inquiry converge at the 
same point and indicate the supreme duty. 

In this chapter we are concerned with those lines of 
providence which are found running through the life 
of the world. That is, we are concerned with that 
purpose of God which is interpreted in the Christian 
revelation and disclosed in the nature of man. 

I. The Kingdom of God on Eakth 
1. One of the most marked characteristics of this 
time is a new interest in the kingdom of God and a 
new conception of its meaning. In fact so intense is 
this interest in the idea of the kingdom that it may be 
called the master thought of our time. And so new 

64 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 65 

and significant is this conception of the kingdom that it 
is little else than a new revelation from heaven. For 
nineteen hundred years and more men have talked of 
the kingdom of God, and from millions of hearts there 
has gone up the unceasing prayer : 

Our Father who art in heaven : 

Hallowed be Thy name, 

Thy kingdom come. 

Thy will be done. 
On earth even as in heaven. 

For sixty generations and more men have sought the 
kingdom of God and have construed duty in terms of 
its life. But as we survey these ages of Christian his- 
tory and watch the efforts of men to extend the king- 
dom we find that their conceptions of this kingdom 
have run the whole gamut of possible variety. In fact, 
as we study these diverse conceptions we might almost 
suppose that we were studying the different conceptions 
of different religions rather than the changing concep- 
tions of the one religion. And we find also as we study 
these changing conceptions of the kingdom that men's 
ideals of life and duty have varied greatly from gener- 
ation to generation. Indeed, so various are these ideals 
that life and duty have meant almost contradictory 
things from time to time. It is needless here to con- 
sider these various conceptions in detail ; but none the 
less against the background of these past conceptions 
we may view that truth which the Spirit of God is 
showing unto the men of to-day. 

The first conception of the kingdom, the one that 
prevailed in the early Church, viewed the kingdom of 
God as the Messianic kingdom, to be established by the 



66 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

returning Christ. Here the kingdom connoted a vis- 
ible Jewish kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital city ; 
in this city the Christ was to reign as an earthly king, 
giving law to the nations and permitting them to share 
in the blessings of God. This conception, it may be 
said, was the one that fiUed the minds and hearts of 
the people around the Christ ; and it was also the con- 
ception that dominated the minds of Christian believers 
for two generations after Christ's ascension. In course 
of time, by the logic of events, this conception feU into 
the background and another conception came into the 
foreground. Now the conception of the kingdom of 
God becomes synonymous with the Church of Christ, 
and the making of the Church meant the making of 
the kingdom. This interpretation slowly developed in 
the primitive Church, but it first received definite state- 
ment in Augustine's " De Civitate Dei." It is true that 
the Church and the kingdom were never wholly equiva- 
lent and interchangeable terms ; but none the less they 
were practically synonymous and the one implied the 
other. This great conception became historic in the 
Koman Catholic Church, though it is not by any means 
limited to this division of Christendom. For fifteen 
hundred years the mighty personality of Augustine has 
dominated the thought of "Western Christendom and 
has largely determined the type of theology, and hence 
this conception has held such a commanding place. 

2. In all ages of the Church there have been many 
believers who have gone to the other extreme and have 
maintained that the kingdom of God is nothing else 
than the life of God within the soul of man. This con- 
ception is based largely upon the Fourth Gospel, in 
which the term Eternal Life is the dominant one and 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 67 

seems to be an equivalent for the kingdom of God. 
This conception has appeared in all ages, but it is ac- 
centuated by two types of Christian thought. One is 
seen in the monastic ideal which has played such an 
important r61e in the development of religious life. 
The other type is seen in that school of Protestant 
theology that has emphasized the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith. To seek the kingdom of God is to seek 
an inner spiritual life; for does not Christ say: The 
kingdom of God is within you ? And once more others 
have thought of the kingdom of God as the kingdom of 
heaven in another world, to be entered by the soul at 
death and to be enjoyed in eternity. This conception 
early appeared in the Church and it has had many ad- 
vocates in aU ages. In fact, this is the prevailing con- 
ception in the minds of the rank and file of Christian 
people to-day; and this is the chief conception that 
finds expression in much current hymnology and devo- 
tional literature. The citizenship of the Christian is in 
heaven ; here he has no continuing city ; here he is as 
a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for a night. 
Which of these conceptions most nearly approximates 
the truth we need not here inquire. That no one of 
these conceptions fully satisfies the thought of to-day is 
becoming very evident. 

3. In these latter times the Spirit of God, as we 
believe, is leading men into a new and larger concep- 
tion of the kingdom of God. It has been granted unto 
the men of to-day to discover, or rather to rediscover, 
the larger meaning of this great Christian ideal, the 
master thought of Jesus' teaching and the inspiring 
impulse of His life, to enter into its human and social 
meaning, to bring it out into the light of day and make 



68 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

it the heritage of the people. To-day it is becoming 
plain that no one of these past conceptions by itself 
contains aU of the truth. Nay more, it is becoming 
no less plain that not all of them combined convey the 
truth as it is in Christ. Each conception is true enough 
so far as it goes ; the Messianic kingdom is a fact ; the 
Church of Christ is a reality ; the spiritual life is a 
blessed experience ; life in heaven when time shall be 
no more is a glorious hope. But the kingdom of God 
is more than any one of these by itself, or more than 
all of them combined ; it includes elements found in 
these partial conceptions, but it goes beyond them all 
and views them as parts of a whole and as means to an 
end. It is not possible to define and describe in detail 
this great new conception of the kingdom of God ; for 
at best we are only on the threshold of this great truth 
as it is in Christ ; and it is too early in the day for any 
one to comprehend the full-orbed truth. 

But it has become very plain that the kingdom of 
God is a great and comprehensive ideal. It is a 
personal good, and it is a social state. It is a good in 
time and it is no less a good in eternity. It is a uni- 
versal fact, the reign of God throughout His wide 
creation, and it is the realization under the conditions of 
time and space of the eternal purpose of God. The 
kingdom of God is the reign of God in men, and over 
men and through men. It comprehends the whole life 
of man and makes provision for all his needs. It is a 
society of men who do God's will and fulfill His right- 
eousness. It includes the whole being and destiny of 
man and binds heaven and earth, time and eternity, 
God and man together in a solidarity of life and blessed- 
ness. The kingdom of God is a great social synthesis 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 69 

which includes the whole life of man, spiritual, moral, 
mental and physical ; its field of manifestation is man's 
personal, family, social, political and industrial rela- 
tions ; it finds its consummation so far as this world is 
concerned in a righteous and brotherly society on earth ; 
in fine it is a good for the whole man in this world and 
for every world. The kingdom of God is the growing 
perfection of the collective life of humanity ; it is the 
redemption of man's mental and moral and spiritual 
life ; it means a perfect man in a perfect society. The 
kingdom of God may mean much more than a human 
society on earth, but it is certain that it never can mean 



II. The Cheistiait Conception of the 
Kingdom 

The kingdom of God we have seen may mean much 
more than a human society on earth, but it is certain 
that it never can mean anything less. For this reason 
all those conceptions of the kingdom which limit it to 
the person or make it equivalent to the Church fall far 
below the conception of Christ. The purpose of God 
as defined in the kingdom of God on earth contemplates 
nothing less and lower than the creation among men of 
a righteous and fraternal and Christian society. For 
this reason all those programs of Christianity which 
contemplate anything less than the making of a new 
and Christian social order fall below the program of the 
kingdom. It is not necessary here to discuss in detail 
the program of the kingdom, but one or two elements 
of that program may be noted. 

1. The Son of Man, in His own simple and yet 
majestic words, has not come to destroy but to fulfill. 



To THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

He has not come to condemn the world as evil and to 
set aside the order of things, but to reaffirm and fulfill 
the eternal purpose of God. He has come to interpret 
the purpose of God and to fulfill the redemption of the 
world, and to make the kingdom of God a universal 
and present reahty. In His life and in His teaching 
certain things become very plain, and these constitute 
what we may call the program of the kingdom. The 
program implies : The saving of the person by making 
him Christlike ; it implies the proclamation of the Good 
News to every creature ; it demands for every human 
being the conditions of a pure, strong, f uU and happy 
life ; it sums itself up in the creation of a righteous and 
fraternal human society, in which God is known as 
Father and men are known as brothers, a society with 
justice as its foundation and love as its law, a society 
in which every life has a true inheritance and where all 
share in the Father's bounties. 

According to the Son of Man it is the Father's pur- 
pose to establish in the earth a human society in which 
God's name is hallowed, God's kingdom is come, and 
God's will is done, a society where aU have daily 
bread, where men remove the causes of temptation 
from their brothers' way and destroy the things that 
are evil and defiling. According to the first interpre- 
ters of Christ the purpose of God contemplates the 
creation in the earth of a humanity that has become 
the habitation of God through the Spirit. The Apostle 
Paul never thinks of salvation as a purely individual 
gift to be enjoyed in isolation, but always in terms of 
human relations and social life. According to the 
Apocalypse the purpose of God culminates in the con- 
ception of a Holy City that has come down from God 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY VI 

and is realized among men. The Apocalypse it is 
evident belongs primarily to the present world and is a 
statesman's vision of the divine order of human society. 
According to the' New Testament writers the work of 
Christ is construed in terms of social hfe and never in 
terms of individual isolation. One may not agree with 
Kitsohl in all of his positions, but he has correctly 
interpreted the essence of Christianity when he declares 
that it is primarily social, and that the great truths of 
religion cannot be understood when applied in isolation 
to the individual subject, but only when explained in 
relation to the subject as a member of a community of 
believers.' The social, the collective, the human ideal 
is preserved throughout the New Testament and this 
compels us to think of the ideal condition as Life in a 
divine, righteous, human society. The salvation which 
Christ brings and earth expects " is not finished when 
a man is forgiven or has obtained peace with God ; it 
is completed only when Christ is all in aU — that is when 
humanity has been built up in aU its parts and regu- 
lated in all its relations by the ideal of love and son- 
ship that has lived from eternity in the bosom of God." ^ 
2. Thus the men who are following the program of 
Christ and are seeking the kingdom of God are seek- 
ing to make the Good News known to every creature ; 
they are seeking to save men from sin and to make 
them like Christ ; they are seeking to secure for all 
men the conditions of a clean, worthy, human and 
moral life ; they are seeking to build on the earth a 
city after the pattern of the Divine City. Thus also 
the work of winning men unto Christ and training 

' " Justification and Reoonoiliation, " Chapter I. 
'Fairbaim, "Beligion in History and Modern Life," p. 254. 



72 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

them in character, the work of building churches and 
sending out missionaries, the work of taking up stum- 
bling-blocks and making straight paths for men's feet, 
are all parts of a whole and means to an end, and that 
end is nothing less than the building up in the earth of 
a divine-human society. 



III. The Ideal op the Kingdom and the 
Quality of Its Life 

The kingdom of God in the Christian conception of 
things is a great social, collective, human ideal that is 
as all inclusive as the reign of God and as comprehen- 
sive as the nature of man. In this kingdom is gath- 
ered up the whole purpose of God in the world, and in 
this kingdom is realized the highest welfare of man. 
In this kingdom is contemplated not alone the salva- 
tion and perfection of the individual, but the redemp- 
tion and transformation of the institutions and relations 
of his life, the family, the Church and the state ; in 
brief the ideal of the kingdom implies a perfect man 
in a perfect society. The life of the kingdom by its 
very essence is an active, aggressive, missionary life — 
the kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman 
took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole 
was leavened — and as such it is ever seeking to per- 
meate the world and to transform all things into its 
likeness. This is not aU, but this life of the kingdom 
by its very nature is a creative, organic, organific power 
— it is no vague and indefinite something or nothing, — 
but a vital and vitalizing potency — that ever seeks and 
finds expression in appropriate forms, a life that ever 
seeks to create around itself a body for its indwelling 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 73 

and expression. "The Bible," said John Wesley, 
" knows nothing of a solitary religion." 

Combining these two things this is what we find : In 
the ideal of the kingdom are found certain great, form- 
ative, constitutive, architectonic principles which are 
at once the creative power, the regulative basis and the 
determining ideal of a human society. In the life of 
the kingdom is found an aggressive, all-permeating, 
ever-organizing potency that seeks to touch and quicken 
and transform everything into its own likeness. Thus 
in the inherent quality of life to conform to its type we 
have the prophecy of the future of mankind ; in the or- 
ganic and social ideal of the kingdom we have the 
promise and potency of an organized society on earth 
in which the life of the kingdom is fully realized. The 
life of the kingdom must touch and penetrate and per- 
meate all realms and relations of life ; the life of the 
kingdom because it is life ever seeks to conform to its 
type and to create around itself harmonious and appro- 
priate forms. Thus the life of the kingdom at work in 
the lives and institutions of men ever seeks to trans- 
form these lives and institutions into its likeness and to 
conform them to the ideal of the kingdom. The Mfe of 
the kingdom has as its sphere of manifestation the vari- 
ous relations and institutions of man's life, the family, 
the Church and the state, for neither the family alone 
nor the Church alone — in fact not the family and the 
Church together — can cover the whole range of life 
and include all of man's interests. By the nature of 
the case, therefore, the life of the kingdom must create 
social and political institutions as well and must mani- 
fest its quality through them. The life of the king- 
dom must either permeate and transform — and if it 



74 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

permeate it must transform — all life in all of its rela- 
tions whether personal, ecclesiastical, political and so- 
cial ; or the life of the kingdom must be limited in its 
scope and excluded from some realms of man's life — 
which is nothing else than social atheism and is the aban- 
donment of all real faith in the kingdom of God. The 
ideal of the kingdom is a social ideal. The life of the 
kingdom is an all-permeating and all-transforming life. 
Life by its essential quality ever seeks to conform to its 
type. Christian, Tnen to he t/rue to their faith cmd their 
ideal in/ust therefore huild a Christian society. This is 
a truth strangely overlooked by many men who are 
most earnest in seeking the redemption of the world. 
And hence it has come about that these men not un- 
derstanding their real work in the world, and not ex- 
pecting the Christianization of society through any 
agencies now at work, have made few efforts to realize 
the kingdom in the wider provinces of life. 

lY. The Peefect Man in the Peefect Societt 
The nature of this task, finally, is revealed in the 
very nature of Christianity and the very necessities of 
life itself. There are two ways of looking at this 
question of man's salvation and perfection, but they 
both lead to the same conclusion. 

1. The spiritual life is not an isolated something 
existing by itself with no dependence upon any other 
factors, but it is rather an integral part of life, for the 
present at least inextricably bound up with all we 
count most real. It is impossible to isolate the spiritual 
life and consider it by itself ; all life is bound up to- 
gether, and no part of it can ever be known apart from 
the whole. The spiritual life can never be presented 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY T5 

to US as something single and isolated. "For that 
which is an abstract, single, and isolated thing, that 
which is fundamentally out of relation with all else, be- 
comes thereby a cipher, non-existent and without 
meaning. What reality could it have?"' Three 
things are involved in this which are all important. It 
follows that what we call religion is " not something 
apart from life, but in the very midst of it, knit up 
with the cell and with sex, with all human relations 
and employments, and tendencies and strivings, — inex- 
tricably involved in all. And we shall look for its 
glory not in a majestic isolation, but rather in its abil- 
ity to permeate and dominate aU life." * 

It follows also that what we call conversion is not 
an isolated fact or experience to be viewed by itself, 
but is part and parcel of Life itself inextricably knit up 
with the sum of life's experience. In the significant 
words of The Independent, commenting upon the strik- 
ing utterance of the veteran missionary, Timothy Kich- 
ards : " The point of Dr. Kichards' argument is this : 
That if endeavours after conversion are meant merely 
to cover the strivings to renew men's hearts devotion- 
ally without striving to improve men materially, intel- 
lectually and nationally, it would seem that only a small 
part of the kingdom of God makes headway. It is a fact 
that 'conversion in regard to material, intellectual, 
social, national, and international as weU as devotional 
aspects is a conversion towards the establishment of the 
kingdom of God on earth.' " ' Any conversion that is 
real involves the turning of the whole man, and it af- 

'King, "The Seeming Unreality of the Spiritual Life," p. 28. 

*Ibid., p. 29. 

'Quoted by King, Ibid., p. 30. 



Y6 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

f eots all of his relations ; just so far as these conditions 
are fulfilled his conversion is a reality. 

2. It follows, further, that what we call salvation 
is not a partial fact or experience, affecting only a seg- 
ment of man's being, but it includes the redemption 
of the whole life and is wrought out in the total ex- 
perience of man. Jesus Christ came to save man, the 
whole man ; not to save a part of the man, but to 
save the whole man in all his powers and relations. 
Man as we know him is a complex being, of body, 
mind and spirit, and the whole man includes all of 
these aspects. For the present at least the spiritual 
life has bodily conditions, and it cannot ignore those 
conditions without fateful error. And for the present 
at least the progress of the spiritual life is conditioned 
upon the condition of its bodily basis.' For the pres- 
ent also so long as man is in the body, any salvation 
to be real must mean the salvation of the whole man 
and must cover the whole range of his being. Thus, 
in the process of man's conversion and salvation it is 
just as necessary that his body and mind be won and 
saved as that his spirit be touched and renewed ; and 
it is a false spirituality which would ignore man's 
mental and physical life in the interests of what is 
called his spiritual perfection. It is just as necessary 
that man's physical, material, social, industrial and 
political Life be converted and transformed as that his 
spiritual life be touched and quickened. In fact, in 
the long run, the reality and value of his spiritual con- 
version as it is called will be measured by its effects 
upon his whole intellectual and bodily life. And in 
fact as we have seen his spiritual life will be known 
'King, " Rational Living," pp. 47, 50. 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY YY 

and felt not as an isolated phenomenon, but as the 
tone and harmony of his whole complex being. 

In the second place, the perfection of the person 
implies and involves the perfection of man in all the 
relations of his being. The program of the kingdom 
implies the making of good individuals, but it demands 
much more than this. For the kingdom of God, it 
cannot be too strongly emphasized, is a kingdom and 
a society ; it is not an anarchy of good individuals, 
but a fellowship of brothers. By its essential nature 
it implies a company of people associated together in 
righteous and loving relations, with each taking thought 
for the others and aU cooperating towards a common 
end. The Son of Man, it is evident to every reader 
of the Gospels, never called any man to a life of indi- 
vidual isolation, but always to life in a brotherhood 
and to fellowship in a society. Not only so, but in 
all His teaching He considered man as a member of 
a social fellowship and He pronounced him good in 
so far as he fitted into this fellowship and lived 
for the common welfare. To seek to save oneself 
by oneself and for oneself was to lose oneself ; to live 
for aU and to lose oneself in the life of all is to save 
oneself. Since this is so the making of good individu- 
als can never fulfill the whole program of the king- 
dom ; in fact the making of the kingdom is necessary 
in order that the person may come to his own per- 
fection. 

3. The perfection of the person is his perfection in 
and through the relations of his being. Man is by 
nature a social being. Life is a matter of relations. 
Eight life is life in right relations. One term of a 
relation is dependent upon the other term. Now what 



78 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

follows as a matter of course ? The perfection of the 
person is his perfection in and through the relations of 
his being ; and the perfection of the relations of man's 
being is a necessary condition of his own perfection. 
According to the Apostle Paul society is the body and 
man is a member in that body. The time will never 
come when one man shall become a complete body, 
independent and self-sufficient ; ever and forever he 
shall be a member in a body and a part of the whole. 
Thus ever and forever he lives in and through the 
body, and the condition of the body to a large de- 
gree determines his own condition. The blessing of 
one is the welfare of aU and the welfare of all is 
the strength of each. No member can become per- 
fect by itself alone without respect to the rest of the 
body ; but through the health of the body in all its 
members the one member is made strong. One can- 
not have a strong hand iu a weak body ; the strong 
body provides the conditions for a strong hand. We 
may grant that this is an allegory and an analogy and 
that it must not be pushed too far ; but after all it 
sets forth one of the most vital facts of life. The 
person is a part of the race ; the race lives in him and 
he lives in the race. The man and the race are mu- 
tually means and ends, each implying the other and 
each influencing the other. By the very nature of the 
case the person cannot be made fully perfect alone ; 
he can become perfect only in and through the society 
of which he is a part. The salvation of the father is 
his salvation through the life of his family. The sal- 
vation of the brother is his salvation through the 
brotherhood. 
The goal of Christianity is twofold : it is a perfect 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 79 

man in a perfect society. And these two factors, the 
person and the society, cannot be separated nor can 
they be pitted against the other ; they move on 
towards their fulfillment together and the perfection 
of one implies the perfection of the other. Society 
can be Tightened and perfected in and through the 
rightening and perfection of its members ; for no 
golden society can be made out of leaden men. The 
person is redeemed and perfected in and through the 
redemption of society ; the redemption of society is 
the condition of the redemption of man. Hence the 
response which man makes to the appeal of the Gospel 
must manifest itself in and through the medium of his 
social life. Hence also the attainment of righteous- 
ness by the person is measured by the degree of right- 
ness in his social relations. In the last analysis there- 
fore these two ends are not two but one. 

4. Thus the perfection of man implies and demands 
the perfection of aU the institutions of his life. In view 
of what has been said it is evident that the perfection 
of man implies the making of a Christian home. As a 
matter of fact the making of the kingdom of God im- 
plies the making of Christian homes, and the making 
of Christian homes implies the coming of the kingdom. 
But life cannot be completed withia the sheltered pre- 
cincts of the home, for it demands the action and re- 
action of one hfe with many lives in all relations. 

On the other hand the home can never be so widened 
as to compass all human relations and include all human 
duties. The making of a Christian Church is there- 
fore a necessary part of the Christian program, and 
in the most real sense the coming of the kingdom im- 
plies the making of the Christian Church. And yet 



80 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

the Church, be it never so Christian, can never become 
the whole kingdom of God. For as every one knows 
great sections of life lie outside the boundaries of the 
Church, and the Church can never be so widened as to 
include all these interests. "We must either admit, 
therefore, that large provinces of Life lie beyond the 
sovereignty of God and beyond the purpose of Christ ; 
or we must have some institution through which men 
can express their wider fellowship and through which 
they can cooperate in promoting the common welfare. 
Thus the full program of the kingdom includes the 
state no less than the family and the Church. For the 
state is one of the natural and necessary forms in which 
man's social Life expresses itself ; in the great words of 
Aristotle — words which all subsequent thinking have 
confirmed — " Man is by nature a political being," ' and 
the state exists not for the sake of life only but for the 
sake of good life.^ The state no less than the family 
and the Church is involved in the nature of man ; and 
hence the perfection of the state is implied in the per- 
fection of man. In fine the perfection of man imphes 
and demands the perfection of all the relations and 
institutions of man's life. Salvation is not the extrica- 
tion of the soul from its relations and the annulling of 
those relations, but his salvation in and through those 
relations. Perfection is not the denial of Life's condi- 
tions and the isolation of the soul by itself alone, but 
the perfection of man in and through the necessary 
social institutions of his being. 

Summing up this argument, we find that the making 
of the kingdom of God implies the perfection of aU the 

1 "Politics," Book I, Chapter II. 
"aid., Book III, Chapter IX. 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OP CHRISTIANITY 81 

institutions of man's social life. "We find that Christi- 
anity to be true to itself and to the idea of the king- 
dom must create a social order that shall cover the 
whole range of man's life and shall include all the re- 
lations of his being. This means that the program of 
the kingdom in its fullness implies the creation of a 
human society on earth in which the person, the family, 
the Church and the state all have their appropriate 
place and cooperate as parts of one great whole. This 
means that the perfection of man involves the perfec- 
tion of society, and thus " The whole body fitly framed 
and compact together through that which every joint 
supplieth, according to the working in due measure of 
each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto 
the building up of itself in love." ' 

And now the truth begins to break upon us in all its 
meridian splendour ; now we begin to see the task to 
which we are fairly committed. In considering the 
processes of history we saw that all the lines of inquiry 
converged at the one point and led to the one con- 
clusion. And in considering the purpose of God as 
revealed in the conception of the kingdom of God 
we see that all the lines of inquiry converge at one 
point and indicate one duty. And now we see that aU 
of these lines of inquiry, the processes of history and 
the providences of God, converge at one and the same 
point and disclose one and the same task. The funda- 
mental conception of Christianity is the kingdom of 
God, a divine-human society on earth. The problems 
of to-day are social problems and as such they require 
a social solution. 

The new task of Christianity is now before us ; the 

' Eph. iv. 16. 



82 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

great work to be done by the generations to come is 
now clearly outlined. It is nothmg less than the huild- 
ing wp in the ea/rth of a new and Ghristiam, type of 
hxuman society. This means that Christian people are 
now called to undertake the task of social redemption in 
the confidence that the work to which they are called 
is the will of God. This means that Christian men, 
who have been seeking to make Christian homes and 
Christian churches, must widen their programs and 
must now undertake seriously the work of building 
Christian cities and making a Christian state. This 
task they cannot evade or deny without being disloyal 
to the kingdom of God, discounting the power of the 
Gospel and lowering their standard in the eyes of men. 
To this task they are fairly and squarely committed by 
the providences of God and the exigency of the times, 
and by the way they fulfill this task will they prove 
the sincerity of their faith and the power of their re- 
ligion. The fact that Christianity has created the 
highest and finest type of personal piety is not enough ; 
the fact that it has created the Christian family and 
the Christian Church tells us something about its power 
and its efficiency but it does not tell us everything. 
Now it must prove its ability to permeate all life and 
to transform society ; to-day it must prove its power to 
create a Christian type of social order. To this task 
the Christian discipleship is fairly committed by the 
Christian ideal, and to this task it is fully called by the 
needs of humanity, and nothing can becloud this fact 
or scale down this demand. The Christian discipleship 
cannot refuse this task without treason against the 
kingdom of God ; it cannot plead inability without 
confessing the impotence of the Gospel ; a Christianity 



THE SOCIAL NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY 83 

that is not adequate to the largest tasks is not worth 
any serious consideration ; a discipleship that does 
not do the whole work of the kingdom is making 
it difficult for men to have any interest in Christianity. 
The nature of Christianity and the processes of history 
have fairly committed to the Christian discipleship the 
task of building up in the earth the Christian type of 
human society. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Brace : " The Kingdom of God." 
Campbell : " Christianity and the Social Order." 
Banscheubnsoh : " Christianity and the Social Crisis." 
Fremantle : " The Worid aa the Subject of Redemption." 
Gladden : "The Church and Modern Life." 
Ward ; " Social Ministry " ; by Ward and others. 
Patten : " The Social Basis of Religion." 



IV 
THE PEOGEAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 

THE nature of the task before modern Chris- 
tianity suggests the program of social action. 
This task as we have seen is nothing less than 
the making of a better order of human society. The 
program it hence follows contemplates nothing other 
than the building of a Christian type of society on 
earth. What does this imply? "What are the steps 
that must be taken to reach this goal ? 

It is not necessary, and it is not possible to go into 
detail and define all the steps that must be taken and 
aU the tasks that must be fulfilled. But it is impor- 
tant, yes, it is necessary, that we have some conception 
of the work before us, that we have some sense of di- 
rection in human progress and that we know the lines 
along which the children of God must move in the ful- 
fillment of their commission ; in fine it is essential that 
we know whether we are seeking the whole kingdom 
of God or only a small fraction of that kingdom. A 
clear vision of the end to be attained is all important, a 
definite conception of the factors entering into the pro- 
gram is most vital ; then with this there must be some 
idea of the relation of one man's work to aU other 
men's work, with some correlation of plans and efforts ; 
but beyond this we cannot go and we need not care. 
The particular methods of Christian work and the 
special applications of the Christian principles must 
then depend upon the needs of the hour and the place, 

84 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 85 

and these methods and applications cannot be named in 
advance. 

There are two desiderata that are essential in any 
working program of the kingdom ; with either of these 
factors ignored or nunimized we shall prove ourselves 
but fooUsh meddlers and shall defeat the end we have 
in view. Any program of the kingdom to be satis- 
factory must be Christian in spirit and scope ; that is, 
it must be motived by the spirit of love and brother- 
hood ; it must be interested in every man and must ap- 
praise every life at a high valuation ; and it must seek 
nothing less than the whole welfare of man, spirit, 
mind and body. And second, it must be comprehen- 
sive in scope and synthetic in method ; that is, it must 
take into account the various factors entering into 
man's life and character ; it must preserve what may 
be called the balance in reform and progress; and 
above aU, it must not misdirect effort at any one point 
to the utter confusion of effort at every other point. 

In the previous chapters we have considered the new 
task which the providences of God and the exigency of 
the times are settiag before men. And we have found 
that this is nothing less than the making of a Christian 
type of human society which shaU be the kingdom of 
God on earth. In this chapter we are concerned with 
the program which men must follow in the prosecution 
of this task. We shall therefore consider some of the 
things that must be done by those who would build on 
earth the city of God. 

I. The Making of a Cheistian Progkam 
1. The first thing is to accept this task in good 
faith and then set about its realization. That many of 



86 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

the conceptions of Christianity have fallen below the 
vision of Christ ; that many of the programs of Chris- 
tendom have stopped far short of the whole program 
of the kingdom ; that many Christians in fact have had 
no large and comprehensive program at all, is painfully 
evident to every student of Christian history and re- 
ligious affairs. In ancient and modern times alike 
there has been little vision of the great goal of the 
world ; and so there has been little conscious and col- 
lective effort to realize a large and constructive pro- 
gram. One of the saddest and most dismal failures of 
history has been the failure of men to take hold of the 
Gospel in its largeness and breadth in their insistent 
determination to mistake a part for the whole and to 
regard as ends the things that are simply means. In 
fact many of the programs of men have been so small 
and meagre that they can hardly be called Christian at 
all. Thus Albrecht Eitschl is fully justified in the 
statement that " since the second century nothing has 
less guided the Church in its efforts for social ameliora- 
tion than the ideal of the kingdom of God on earth in 
the sense in which Christ and His apostles used the 
term." Thus it has come about that men have stopped 
far short of the program of Christ, and Christian men 
have not only had no ideal for human society, but they 
have felt no obligation to undertake the redemption of 
the social order. It has come about from one cause 
and another that the programs of men have been much 
smaller than the program of the kingdom; and so 
they have made little or no provision for the redemp- 
tion of society. There has been little or no conscious 
and continuing effort to realize a large and comprehen- 
sive plan. They have said that the world ought to be 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 87 

better, but they have had no large, positive, well-or- 
ganized, constructive method of making it better. 

It is true that in the generations past Christian work- 
ers have had some ideals and plans that were definite 
enough. But these programs as a rule have not been 
programs of social salvation ; in the main they have been 
personal and ecclesiastical, with little direct outlook 
upon the wide world. Many of these programs have 
begun and ended with self, and so they have been at 
cross purposes with the kingdom. To save the soul 
from sin and death and prepare it for life in heaven 
has been the beginning and end of much effort in the 
past. Many of these programs have begun and ended 
with the Church, and so they have ignored nine-tenths 
of life. To build up a church which should gather 
into itself the elect and good and keep them safe for 
the Bridegroom's coming has bounded the hopes and 
plans of many churchmen. In these conceptions 
Christian life, Christian service, moral goodness and 
spiritual perfection have been construed in terms of 
personal welfare and church life ; and by these concep- 
tions the other duties of life that lay outside the 
boundaries of the person and the Church were regarded 
as more or less non-moral and secular. It is true that 
many men in the Church have had a wider vision and 
have followed a larger program ; but so far as the rank 
and file are concerned it has never entered their minds 
that Christianity had any other object than to gather 
out of the world the Lord's elect and to keep them 
prepared for the Lord's return. In the generations 
past there has been progress, much progress, but it has 
been more or less haphazard and incidental. In all 
times Christian workers have preached the Gospel and 



88 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

have won souls unto Christ; they have gathered 
believers and have built churches ; they have corrected 
great abuses and have made many improvements in 
human society ; but they have usually been opportu- 
nists and servants workiug for some local and partial 
good when they might have been seers of God and 
friends of Christ working for some great ends in a 
large program.' 

Thus far also the programs of men, so far as they 
have had any programs of social reform, have been 
largely negative and destructive. Certain evils have 
bulked large in the eyes of men ; and in the name of 
God and humanity these evils have been attacked. Far 
be it from any one to make light of the zeal and hero- 
ism manifested in the past and present in the warfare 
against some national evils, such as slavery, infanticide, 
the duel, the social evil, the liquor traffic, and many 
other vices. Much has been done and much is being 
done to destroy these evils ; and yet with it aU these 
evils show little signs of decline and decrease. We 
cannot here consider the reason for all of this apparent 
failure ; but one or two things may be noted. We 
have not always dealt with the causes and the roots 
of evils ; and so the results have been transient and 
doubtful. We have not realized that social evils have 
social conditions and relations, and so must have a 
social cure. There are no isolated reforms ; the evil is 
organic and the cure must be organic. 

2. It is better to live on the small arc of an infinite 
circle than to compass the whole area of a ten foot 
circumference. One of the great needs of to-day is a 
large, constructive, comprehensive program of social 

' John XT, 16. 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 89 

salration. As a matter of fact we shall never be able 
to understand our own local and little work till we see 
it in relation to the whole work of God in the world. 
We never shall take up the work of the kingdom in a 
large and hopeful way tiU we see the great purpose 
which God is carrying forward in the world. We 
never shall accomplish the largest and longest results 
for God and for man till we see the relation of the 
parts to the whole and learn to correlate each man's 
work with the total work of the kingdom, "We need 
to remember that the kingdom of God is as wide as the 
purpose of the Eternal and the program of the kingdom 
contemplates the saving of the whole world. The 
world is the subject of Christ's redemption, and the 
program of the kingdom contemplates the saving of 
the world in all its parts and provinces. The kingdom 
of God we have agreed never means anything less than 
a divine-human society on earth ; and so the program of 
the kingdom implies nothing less or lower that the 
transformation of the whole world and the perfection 
of life in a human society in this world. The time has 
been when men who thought of the kingdom of God 
have thought in terms of saved souls and church insti- 
tutions. But the time has come for those who cherish 
the ideal of the kingdom to think in terms of Christian 
cities and nations. However it may have been in the 
past, the time has come for men who accept the ideal 
of the kingdom to expect nothing less or lower than a 
new and Christian social order. 

3. And as a part of the new duty the time has 
come for men to frame some large and Christian pro- 
gram of action. The time has been when men were 
content to work away each at his task with little 



90 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

knowledge of his neighbour's work and with no syn- 
thetic vision of all men's work. But the time has come 
for us to think things together, and to correlate all 
forms of effort in one great campaign. If religion con- 
sists in a knowledge of the goal and of the steps that 
lead to it, we have a very plain duty. We need some 
clear, definite. Christian conception of the great ideal of 
the kingdom of God on earth. And we need some 
large, positive, constructive and comprehensive program 
of action. Thus far we have had no such program ; 
thus far there has been little conscious and continuous 
effort to realize a definite plan and policy. And the 
results of this policy — or lack of policy — are to be seen 
on every hand. 

In the matter of city building — to take an illustra- 
tion — ^men have usually been opportunists seeing only 
the present need and working without any vision of 
what a city should be. Their work as a consequence 
has been haphazard and fragmentary and ineffectual, 
and one generation has had to undo much of the work 
of its predecessor. What wonder that our cities have 
been unsightly and unsanitary, with many evil elements 
and many demoralizing influences ? Not only so but 
the men at work have usually been specialists in re- 
form, each working away at his chosen task with little 
regard for his neighbours and with little interest in their 
work. " There is a sense therefore in which it might 
be maintained that our numerous social reforms are 
doing more harm than good. Persons engaged in 
them are often so busily occupied with special phases 
that the situation as a whole is neglected, and 
waste in time, energy and money becomes inevitable. 
One would not be rash in saying that the waste 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 91 

through social vices is to a considerable extent dupli- 
cated by the waste due to the defective and com- 
peting methods of religious, moral and social agencies 
in reform." ' 

The time has come for the men of good wiU in every 
city to unite their wisdom and vision and faith in the 
construction of a city plan and program that shall 
contemplate the future and shall unite aU the forces of 
progress. The time has come for men to consider all 
the factors and forces that enter into the making of 
better cities and then to correlate and combine these 
towards the one end. "We must learn to think in terms 
of cities and states and continents. "We must make a 
place for the statesmanship of the kingdom and must 
have large and statesmanlike policies. We must view 
the field as a whole and must know the needs and the 
resources of the city. "We must plan campaigns — ^not 
skirmishes — and we must train Christian workers to 
be long term soldiers and not mere three months' 
volunteers. 

Suppose all of the men of good will in any city 
should thus unite their wisdom and faith and vision in 
the construction of a large and comprehensive program 
of city improvement ? Suppose these same men should 
then enlist for the long campaign and should make 
every effort and movement the working out of a large 
plan ? Is it not certain that waste will be prevented, 
efficiency wiU be promoted and the city that might be 
will soon become the city that is ? It may not be 
possible or desirable for the men of one generation to 
forestall or control the future, for the thoughts of men 
are widened with the progress of the years, and the 
■Dealey, "Sociology," p. 190. 



92 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

program of to-day may be outgrown to-morrow. But 
at this time of day with our knowledge of history and 
biology, sociology and psychology, it ought to be pos- 
sible for men to construct a comprehensive and positive 
program that shall indicate the true direction of prog- 
ress and shall lead to more united and intelligent action. 
In this age of science and sociology, with our knowl- 
edge of the factors of heredity and environment, with 
the intelligence and devotion that are found in the 
churches and in the schools, with all the achievements 
of the past and all the resources of the present at our 
disposal, it ought to be possible for men to frame some 
definite plan of campaign and to outline some positive 
program of action, in which each kind of talent wiU have 
its use, where every class of workers will have their place 
and where all men of good will will join hearts and strike 
hands in the prosecution of some great task. The time 
has come to accept the great ideal of Christ — the king- 
dom of God on earth — to frame a large and construct- 
ive program of action, to learn to think in terms of 
social salvation, and to make all our efforts deliberately 
land consciously telic. It is said that every soldier of 
Napoleon carried in his pocket a map of Europe and 
that he dreamed of a time when a great French empire 
should be established throughout the continent. How- 
ever this may be the children of the kingdom carry in 
their hearts the outlines of the coming kingdom of 
God and they live for the time when the city of God 
shall have been realized on earth. The first thing 
therefore is to accept the whole program of the king- 
dom — a new righteous social order in this world — and 
then set about the work of social salvation — the mak- 
ing of a Christian society. 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 93 

II. The Pbogeam of Christianity 
In attempting to frame such a social program we are 
not working wholly in the dark ; for we have some 
very deiinite suggestions in the teaching and life of the 
Son of Man. 

1. The outlines of this Christian program are sug- 
gested in the prayer which the Master taught His dis- 
ciples : 

Our Father who art in heaven : 

Hallowed be Thy name, 

Thy kingdom come, 

Thy wiU be done, 
On earth even as in heaven ; 

Give us day by day our daily bread ; 

And forgive us our sins ; for we ourselves also 

Forgive every one that is indebted to us ; 

And bring us not into temptation ; 

But deliver us from evil. 

That men may know God's name and may honour it ; 
that they may believe in His kingdom and may seek 
it ; that they may accept His will and do it, — ^thia is 
implied in the first three petitions. And all this, be it 
observed, not in some other world, but here on earth 
where men now live. Then implied in this and grow- 
ing out of it, we find certain specific things that have 
to do with their life on earth. That men may have 
daily bread, that aU men may have enough for their 
needs, that they who seek the kingdom of God are to 
seek such a social order that every man may earn and 
eat his own bread, this is clearly implied in one petition. 
That men are to forgive one another, that they are 
to put away the things that divide them, and then that 
they are to set men free from the dominion of sin as 



94 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

they hope to be free themselves, this is plainly involved 
in another petition. That they may be delivered from 
temptation, that they are to put away the things that 
may become temptations to others, that they are to 
strive for a social order in which the things that tempt 
men shall be put away, this is a necessary part of the 
sixth item. That men shaU pray for deliverance from 
evU, that they shall remove evil things from their 
brothers' way, that they shaU Live to loose men from 
their chains, to free their minds from error and fear 
and superstition, that they shall lift the handicaps that 
are upon men, that they shall lighten their burdens and 
give every soul a fair opportunity in life, this surely is 
a task which they who offer this prayer are to fulfiU. 

But beyond this we have a more definite outline of 
the Christian program in the Master's own life and 
work. Perhaps the best statement of the program is 
given by the Master Himself in His instructions to His 
disciples. Twice at least He sent out companies of dis- 
ciples on missionary tours, and in both cases the direc- 
tions are substantially the same. They are commis- 
sioned to preach the Good News of the kingdom, to 
heal the sick, and to cast out demons. And the narra- 
tive plainly states that the disciples fulfilled this whole 
commission and they so reported to the Master. There 
are certaia local and transient elements in this com- 
mission, we may admit, but none the less it outlines 
Jesus' method of establishing the kingdom. And what 
is more significant it defines the very things which the 
Master Himself did in His work for the kingdom. But 
not always have the disciples since followed this large 
and comprehensive program. 

2. The first item they have accepted and have 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 95 

sought to fulfill, and in one way and another they have 
preached the Good News to men. This is proper and 
this is right ; and never must we ignore this item or 
minimize its importance. To tell the Good News to 
every creature, to win men unto God and to train them 
in Christlike living — this forever wUl be an essential 
part of the Christian program. But there are other 
items in this commission which are no less worthy of 
emphasis and acceptance. And yet the second and 
third parts of this charge have not been accepted by 
the Church generally as a part of the divine commis- 
sion. 

In all ages there have been parties in the Church — 
little groups of faddists often, offshoots from the main 
stem— who have believed in divine healing and have 
tried to raise the sick in the name of the Lord. But 
this part of the commission cannot be neglected by 
Christian men at large ; least of all can we be satisfied 
to have it interpreted in the narrow way of some di- 
vine healers. However it may have been in the past, 
the time has come for Christian men to accept this com- 
mission in good faith and to make it a part of their 
regular work. But here as everywhere we must in- 
terpret the teachings of Scripture in the light of the 
win of God as revealed in the order of nature. And 
interpreting the charge in this light it has a wonderful 
meaning and defines a plain duty. To-day we are 
learning that sickness and disease have causes, and 
these causes are more or less within the control of man 
and of society. It follows that the men of the king- 
dom who would heal the sick must deal with causes 
and must endeavour to keep people well. "We may 
not possess the power of healing the sick by miraculous 



96 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

means, and it may not be necessary to-day — but this 
does not absolve us from all obligation. Now we are 
able to heal the sick by the use of nature's means ; now 
we may fulfill this charge by preventing disease. That 
is, it is the duty of Christian men to devise ways and 
means that shall make for health and strength among 
the people ; it is their duty to create such conditions 
in society as shall prevent fevers and plagues; in a 
word it is the duty of all men who would seek the 
kingdom of God to provide for every soul the condi- 
tions of a strong, clean, moral, worthy life. We sub- 
mit that it is just as Christian to work for sanitary 
cities as to nurse the fever-stricken children ; it is just 
as Christlike to labour for a righteous economic order 
as to dole out bread to the hungry ; and we submit 
that this is a wise and practical way of fulfilling this 
part of the divine commission. 

To cast out demons is an item in this program 
which must not be overlooked. It is not necessary to 
spend any time discussing the question of demon pos- 
session or even to consider the existence of demons at 
all. It is very plain that the men in the time of Christ 
believed in the existence of personal demons and in 
their power over men. They believed that demonic 
influences and powers incarnated themselves in human 
bodies and manifested themselves through human 
lives. The disciples believed also that the Son of Man 
had power over these demons and that He cast them 
out of human beings. And they accepted the com- 
mission He gave and went to work in His name to cast 
demons out of men. There may be certain local and 
transient elements in this belief of the early disciples ; 
but there are also certain deep and abiding principles 



THE PROGRAM OP SOCIAL SALVATION 97 

which we must recognize. There is such a thing as 
evil in the world, and this evU manifests itself in the 
lives of men and the institutions of society. There 
are many things that are evil in all of our communi- 
ties in that they defile human souls and they work 
abomination and make a lie ; they are stumbling-blocks 
in the way of the people and their presence is a con- 
tinual suggestion of evil and a subtle solicitation to sin. 
Such institutions as the saloon and the evil resort, vile 
literature and impure shows, are whoUy evil in their 
influence and their presence is responsible for much 
vice and disorder, for the increased number of juvenile 
offenders and for the ruin of many young girls. 

"With reference to these evils and others like them 
the attitude of aU good men is perfectly plain : They 
should maintain an attitude of active and unceasing 
opposition. Whatever the stumbling-block may be our 
duty is plain: we must take up the stumbling-block 
out of the way of the people. "We must make straight 
paths for men's feet ; we must make it as easy as pos- 
sible for people to do right and as hard as possible for 
them to do wrong. And we have the means in our 
hands whereby we may destroy these works of the 
devil and may cast the demons out of society. In the 
Apocalypse we read that they, — the followers of the 
Lamb — overcame him, the devU, " by the blood of the 
Lamb and the word of their testimony ; and they 
loved not their lives unto death." Not without reason 
is the word of the Lord called the sword of the Spirit ; 
and more than once we are told that this word is 
mighty in casting out demons and tearing down strong- 
holds. This sword of the Spirit, the word of brave 
testimony, is rusting in its scabbard to-day and Chris- 



98 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

tian men do not suspect its power. Suppose the peo- 
ple of God could get the dust out of their eyes and 
could see things as they are ; suppose they could give 
forth in one voice the word of their united testimony ; 
there is hardly an evil in society however bold or 
strong that would not be stricken to the earth and 
crawl away to die in the darkness. This is not all, 
but as citizens the God of nations has placed in our 
hands another weapon no less potent. Not in vain is 
the magistrate called the " deacon of God unto men 
for good " ; and we are plainly told that he bears not 
the sword in vain ; for he is God's servant attending 
continually unto this very thing ; being set for the 
punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of them 
that do well.' This is not all, but as sovereign citizens 
in the free state we have in our hands a weapon whose 
potency we have not yet suspected. In that little slip 
of white paper called a ballot we have a weapon that 
may be mighty through God in beating down evil and 
in casting out demons. 

"There is a weapon surer still, 
And swifter than the bayonet. 
That executes a freeman's will, 
As lightning does the will of God." 

In many of our communities there are evils that are 
bold and open because there is little organized and 
persistent opposition to them. In all of our communi- 
ties there are many nuisances that could easily be 
abated if some one would only voice a protest and 
lead in a crusade for their extinction. Some forms 
of evil it is possible may continue for a long time to 

* Bom. ziii. 2-6. 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 99 

come and we may not be able wlioUj to eliminate 
them. But we can wage an unceasing warfare against 
them ; we can make their practice hazardous and un- 
profitable ; we can limit them and lessen their power 
for evil ; we can wear them down and crowd them out 
and can provide that they never shall become recog- 
nized and legitimated practices and customs. The 
work of taking up stumbling-blocks, of casting out 
demons, of making straight paths for men's feet, of 
creating better conditions in society, we submit, is a 
legitimate and necessary part of the Christian pro- 
gram ; and the time has come when we should accept 
this commission in good faith and resolutely set 
about its realization. 

The second and third items in this program we have 
not fully accepted as a part of our program ; and so we 
have not consciously sought to fulfill them in their full 
scope. "We have tried to preach the Gospel and to win 
men unto Christ ; but because of our neglect of the 
other items in the commission we have not always 
made most effective the first part of our mission. This 
is not all, but the power and efficiency of the gospel 
preaching — according to the promise of the Master ' — 
are to be proved in the signs that follow. Thus, as the 
people who hear and receive the Gospel set about the 
work of healing the sick and casting out demons, will 
they demonstrate the power and worth of their Gospel. 
In view of the life and teaching of the Master ; in view 
of His program of action and His charge to His disci- 
ples ; in view of His parting commission and promises, 
we are warranted in saying that the work of healing 
the sick and casting out demons is as much a legitimate 

•Markxvl. 17, 18. 



100 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

part of our work as preaching the Good News of the 
kingdom and teaching men the way of life. In fine, it 
is just as necessary that some Christians accept the 
other items in the Christian program and bind up the 
broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, the open- 
ing of the prison to them that are bound, and the day 
of vengeance upon the works of darkness, as it is that 
other Christians tell the Good Tidings to the meek, seek 
the wanderers who have gone astray and comfort them 
that mourn. 

III. The Salvatiok of the Whole Man 
1. There is one thing which is all determining in 
our thought and effort, and that is our conception of 
salvation. " The Son of Man is come to seek and to 
save that which was lost," thus far aU men are agreed. 
But the moment we attempt to define this term salva- 
tion confusion begins ; the moment we ask what Christ 
actually saves we find that men are the diameter of the 
world apart. Thus, for long generations and by mil- 
lions of men the word salvation has been taken in a 
narrow and partial sense ; they have construed salvation 
in terms of the soul's welfare and have limited their in- 
terest to one single realm of life and one single as- 
pect of man's being. To be saved usually signified to 
have one's sins forgiven and to have one's soul pre- 
pared for heaven. To be saved meant to be saved out 
of the world and to be fitted for some other world 
beyond the range of earth and time. Man's being was 
divided up into sections, into two, body and soul ac- 
cording to some ; into three, body, soul and spirit ac- 
cording to others ; the body is of the earth, earthy and 
perishing and so is entitled to little consideration ; the 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 101 

soul is the essential and real man, allied to God and 
immortal, and so is the precious and priceless thing. 
The soul is the subject of Christ's redemption, men 
have said ; the body is a negligible quantity and does 
not greatly concern the Master. Besides, the man 
who takes much interest in his body is apt to neglect 
his soul ; let the body go if only the soul may be saved. 
If the soul has an eternal and heavenly hope why 
should man care what his earthly condition may be ? 
To be concerned about food and drink and clothing is 
to belittle the soul and to endanger its deathless glory. 
In aU of these conceptions salvation had to do with 
the soul and had little relation to the whole life. In 
all of these conceptions salvation was an end in itself 
rather than a means to an end. Men have thought of 
salvation not as the fullness of life here, but as the as- 
surance of a life hereafter. They have laid chief stress 
not on salvation here and now as life in the kingdom 
of God on earth, but on salvation in the narrower sense 
as escape from the retributions of heU hereafter and so 
as the rescue of the soul from the wreck of a perishing 
world. Let the world go, men have said, if only the 
soul may be saved. " What shaU it profit a man if he 
gain the whole world and lose his own soul? And 
what shaU a man give in exchange for his soul?" 
Millions of men and women, like the writer, have 
grown up in the Church and have lived in a Christian 
land, who for years never imagined that the purpose of 
Christ was any larger than that here indicated. It did 
not enter into our hearts to conceive that Christ had 
come to save the whole man, body, mind and spirit for 
this life as well as for the life to come. It did not 
dawn upon some of us tiU we were thirty years of age 



102 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

that Christ had come to save the whole man and to 
build on earth a Christian social order. Our case was 
not at aU exceptional ; but exceptional or not we were 
not whoUy to blame for it. 

2. In contrast to aU these conceptions we may set 
the life and teaching of the Master. He is His own 
best interpreter and illustrates in His life His own terms. 
According to the Gospel record Jesus worked for the 
whole man and He never made any distinction between 
work for the soul and work for the body. In fact He 
spent a large part of His time ministering to what men 
are pleased to call the temporal and material needs of 
the people. Twice at least, as we have seen, He sent 
out bands of workers, and in both cases the instructions 
are the same. They are to preach the Good News of 
the kingdom, to heal the sick, and to cast out demons. 
In the Nazareth synagogue He outlined His program, 
showing that He has come to bless the whole life of 
man.' At a later time He gave as the crowning proof 
of His ministry the fact that the lame walk, the blind 
receive their sight, the lepers are cleansed and the dead 
are raised up, and to the poor the good news is 
preached.' It may be said that the churches have usually 
given these words an almost wholly spiritual and in- 
ward application ; but in so doing they have perverted 
the plain teaching of the Master and missed the power 
of His example. The interest of Christ was not limited 
to what men are pleased to call the inward and spirit- 
ual life. He came to save the man, body, mind and 
spirit ; He came to save the man for this world and for 
every world ; He came to save man's years, his powers, 
his influence for the kingdom here ; He was not content 

» Luke iv. 17-20. ' Matt. xi. 4, B. 



THE PKOGKAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 103 

to have a man waste his years in sin and then, repent- 
ing at the very end of life, to have his soul saved for 
heaven ; He was not content that men should have 
hungry bodies and unillumined minds, if only their 
souls might be saved from doom hereafter. In fact He 
knew nothing of any such conception as this, and it is 
certain that He would repudiate it as false and worth- 



In His teaching He is no less explicit and positive. 
As a matter of fact He never made any distinction 
between body and soul, treating one part of man as 
accidental and trifling and another part as essential 
and eternal. He never said one word about saving the 
soul : Save your life, was His constant and impressive 
charge to men. There are several instances in the 
Gospels where the word soul is used, but every student 
knows that the Greek word is loosely translated. Ser- 
mons and homilies innumerable have been preached 
from the text : " What shall it profit a man if he gain 
the whole world and lose his own soul ? "What shall a 
man give in exchange for his soul ? " But as a matter 
of fact the word here translated soul is the same word 
that in a former verse is translated life : " He that 
findeth his life shall lose it ; and whosoever loseth his 
life for My sake shall find it." ' The nature of the say- 
ing necessitates this translation of the word. By what 
right then do we change the translation ia the verse 
below and represent Christ as confusing men by talking 
about the soul ? Save your life, this was His charge to 
men. Have a care for your life, is His warning in the 
Sermon on the Mount. Let your whole life be given 
to the kingdom of God and its service ; do not waste 

'Matt. xvi. 25. 



104 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

yourself on the purely incidental and accidental things. 
But the contrast here is not between body and soul, as 
some suppose, but between life saved for the kingdom 
and devoted to its chief end and life spent for self and 
wasted on trifles. 

The salvation of the whole man was the object of 
Christ's effort. And this it may be said is a much 
larger and more inclusive work than the saving of the 
soul. To save the life is to save the whole man, body, 
mind and spirit ; to save the life is to save man in all 
his capacities and powers and possibilities; to save 
the life is to save his whole existence, his days and 
years and talents for the kingdom and its service. 
Suppose the Son of Man were here to-day and saw men 
giving their lives to the gaining of the world, coining 
their time and their talents into gold, and yet aU the 
time counting upon having their souls saved by divine 
mercy. "Would He not ask sadly : What shall it profit 
a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own 
life ? And what shall a man give in exchange for his 
life ? Man has just one lifetime, a little gleam of Ught 
between two eternities, a little space in which to serve 
the kingdom and its righteousness. To spend this life- 
time gathering gold and seeking honour is to " miss the 
mark " and to lose one's life. To spend one's life seek- 
ing things that have no relation to the kingdom and its 
coming is to waste one's life and to make a tragic 
failure. The Son of Man came to establish the king- 
dom of God on earth, and His saving work for man 
must always be looked at in the light of this supreme 
purpose. The program of the kingdom contemplates 
the saving of the whole man, for this life and for every 
life. It foUows that the saving work of Christ contem- 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 105 

plates the saving of man's life for the kingdom here ; 
and this is ^primary in His interest and fundamental in 
His teaching. The man who is saved for the kingdom 
is a saved man, the man who lives outside the kingdom 
is a lost man. The one is saved because he has found 
the highest good and is giving his life to its true end. 
The other is lost because he has missed the mark and is 
throwing his life away on false objects. The kingdom 
of God includes the whole life of man and is cotermi- 
nous with the whole purpose of God. The kingdom of 
God, it cannot be too strongly emphasized, is not here 
to empty life but to fill it ; not subtraction but addi- 
tion is the arithmetic of the kingdom. There are 
those — there always have been, there always will be — 
who teU us that the blessing of the kingdom is a spir- 
itual blessing ; the kingdom of God is within you, they 
say; the salvation which Jesus brings is deliverance 
from this world and its trials ; in fact the great work 
of life is preparation for quitting life. All this is some- 
thing more than so much quibbling about the transla- 
tion of a word ; it involves a different conception of the 
work of Christ and the meaning of salvation ; and 
growing out of all this it implies a whoUy different 
conception of the life of man and the duty of life. To 
reestablish this truth in its central place in man's 
thought and to make it the standard conception of the 
world is in a sense a large part of the present task of 
Christian teachers. 

3. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that 
which was lost. He comes to save men here and now, 
in their whole being with all its powers. Several years 
ago, President G. W. Northrup in a memorable ad- 
dress, in considering the hindrances to the work of the 



106 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

kingdom, gave as the first cause the departure from the 
method of Christ, in laying chief stress, not on salva- 
tion here and now, the establishment of the kingdom 
in the earth, but on salvation in the narrower sense of 
the term, as escape from the retributions of heU here- 
after. Christ did not dwell chiefly upon salvation as 
pertaining to the future world, but as a good to be re- 
alized here, through the reign of love in the souls of 
men, constraining them to grateful and self-sacrificing 
labours that the will of God may be done everywhere 
on earth as in heaven.' With Jesus Christ salvation is 
learning how to live as the child of God ought to live. 
With him the first duty of life is learning how to live 
as a good citizen in the kingdom of God on earth. It 
is true that Jesus comes to save men from hell, but it 
is the hell of both worlds. He seeks to save man for 
the kingdom here, and the man who is saved for the 
kingdom is a saved man. With Jesus Christ the great 
work of man is learning how to live in the kingdom 
and to make one's life a service of God. It is true that 
He does give a few hints concerning the diverse des- 
tinies of men in the life to come ; true also that He 
does set before men the eternal issues of conduct ; but 
in a sense all His references to the future are incidental 
and ancillary. He assumes the future and He views 
man's life in the light of its eternal meaning ; but the 
kingdom of God as a good here and now fiUs all the 
foreground of His thought. With Jesus Christ eternal 
life is not a future attainment but a present experience. 
To have eternal life is to live in time the life of eter- 
nity." For every word that Jesus spoke about the sav- 

' " Centenary Missionary Addresses," pp. 68, 72. 
'Horton, " The Teaching of Jesus," Chapter XIV. 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 107 

ing of the soul He spoke a hundred words about the 
kingdom of God. With Him the emphasis falls upon 
the present life in this present world. He looked over 
the world and He saw men living selfish, unbrotherly, 
unworthy lives ; they were living in the heU of a 
wasted manhood and a lost life and a wrong purpose ; 
they, the children of God, were forgetful or ignorant 
of their high privilege and their true end. And He 
came to save men from all this ; He came to bring 
them into filial and loving relations with God ; to set 
them free from the dominion of self and sin ; to give 
them new objects in life and to renew them in knowl- 
edge ; in a word to lift up the whole life of man into 
the light and life of God. Save your life, was the 
Master's charge to men ; save your life in the kingdom 
and for the kingdom. The acceptance of this truth 
will mean a complete change in the thought of Chris- 
tian men and wiU demand a complete revaluation of 
their methods of work. 

rv. The Cheistianization of the Institutions 
OE Man's Life and Theib Enlistment in 
THE Work oe Social Kedemption 

There are three great institutions known to man that 
are here in the will and purpose of God and are im- 
plied in the being and nature of man. Each is a me- 
dium through which God fulfills His purpose in the 
world, and through each the life of God is getting it- 
self reborn into the life of humanity. Each is a means 
through which man climbs the ascent of progress, and 
through each man becomes more fuUy man. Each 
aims to realize the ideals of the kingdom, to translate 
them into human lives and fulfill them in human rela- 



108 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

tions ; each is a medium and means through -which man 
seeks the kingdom of God and promotes the progress 
of the world. The family, the Church and the state— 
these are the three great institutions in which the life 
of man incarnates itself; they are the institutions in 
which life completes and perfects itself ; they are the 
agencies and media through which the life of the king- 
dom actualizes itself in the world ; they are thus at 
once the result and record of the kingdom's power and 
the causes and condition of the kingdom's advance. 

1. The moment we consider carefully this item in 
our program we see that it has two sides. It impHes 
the Ohristianization of these three great institutions; 
and it demands also their conscious enlistment in the 
work of social progress. Here is one of the most fruit- 
ful fields open before the modern student ; and it is 
hoped that some one may enter this field and may ex- 
plore its riches. This work we can simply suggest in 
this place. 

The family, the oldest institution known to man, is 
in some respects the most important. It is through the 
family that man begins to be ; it is in the family that he 
learns the meaning of fellowship ; it is in the family that 
his will is disciplined and his life is determined ; and it 
is in the family that he is fitted and prepared for life 
in the wider social fellowship. The family is the link 
that binds the generations together, and it is the rela- 
tionship that determines irrevocably a hundred ques- 
tions in every man's life. It is in the home, which 
Mazzini in poetic phrase terms the Heart's Fatherland, 
that the race is made and the future decided. No- 
where does the element of necessity press closer than 
in the family ; and nowhere is man influenced so po- 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 109 

tently for weal or woe. A man makes no choice of his 
home relations, and yet upon these ties, which no hu- 
man skill can unlock, depend nine-tenths of his happi- 
ness or his misery. That the kingdom of God may 
come in the earth it is necessary that the home life of 
the world be transformed ; before this world can be- 
come the kingdom of God the family hfe must be 
Christianized. 

The family is one of the most potent agencies in the 
making of the kingdom, and the intelligent use of this 
agency is perhaps the most important work before the 
world to-day. Heredity and environment are two of 
the mightiest forces in the shaping of eVery life ; and 
these two forces work most potently in and through 
the home. Thus far however we have given very little 
attention to these forces ; thus far the family has not 
been consciously enlisted ia the work of race-making. 
The world has developed a science of stock-breeding 
and men know how to rear a thoroughbred horse. 
But thus far we have given little or no attention to the 
science of man-makiag, and as a consequence we do not 
know what to do in order to breed a race of thorough- 
bred human beings. The time is coming when we 
must deal with aU the influences that improve the in- 
born qualities of the race ; and then we must seek to 
develop these influences to the utmost. Suppose this 
factor of heredity could be better understood by the 
rank and file of people ; suppose it could then be 
brought under the direction of intelligence and con- 
science ; suppose it could be consciously enlisted in the 
work of race-making ; in that case the coming of the 
kingdom of God would be hastened by leaps and 
bounds. 



110 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

The Church, the community of the Spmt, is also one 
of the important agencies in the making of the king- 
dom. It is not necessary here to define in detail the 
nature, the province, or the work of the Church, for 
this would carry us too far afield ; we may note only 
one or two things with reference to the Church and its 
function. The Church which has been called "The 
Social Eevelation of the Holy Spirit " is the community 
of believers in whom Christ's Spirit dwells. It is a 
God-inhabited society organized for the promotion of 
holiness of life in its members and for witnessing for 
the truth of the kingdom among men. It is a society 
in which the life of the kingdom incarnates itself, and 
it provides a field on which divine righteousness may 
be manifested and trained. It is a company of workers 
banded together to make known the Good If ews of the 
kingdom and seeking in all ways to uplift and purify 
the whole life of man. The ideals of the kingdom seek 
incarnation in some organized society, and the Church 
exists that it may witness for these ideals and may be 
the means of their realization in the world. In the 
Church — if anywhere — the life and truth of the king- 
dom should prevail, and through the Church men 
should learn the will of God. 

The Church no less than the family is a potent 
agency in the redemption of man and the transformar 
tion of society. For the Church is here to witness to 
men of the grace of God and to inspire men to seek the 
highest goods. The Church which teaches men to 
pray in terms of the Fatherhood of God is called to 
witness for the truths of Divine Fatherhood in face of 
the rivalries and antagonisms of men and to be the 
abiding pledge of the realization of human brotherhood 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 111 

throughout the world. The Church which cherishes 
the hope of the kingdom of God is to be in every age 
the herald of that kingdom, and " the organ of the 
continuous unfolding of the treasures of spiritual wis- 
dom." • The great business of the Church is instruction, 
inspiration, moral discipline and spiritual nurture ; and 
so the Church works by persuasion and not by force ; 
it seeks to quicken the affections, to enlighten the con- 
science, to purify the insight and to arouse the will. 
The Church by its ministries, its services, its ordinances, 
and its fellowship seeks to introduce God to the human 
mind and to expose man's will to the energizing of the 
Infinite WiU. The Church also seeks to adjust and 
righten the relations of men with men in accordance 
with the will of God ; it points out to men the direc- 
tion of true progress ; it seeks to sweeten and transform 
all life and to infuse the Spirit of Christ into efforts 
for man's social betterment. Not in any formal and 
mechanical way do we conceive of the work of the 
Church ; but in its potency for the kingdom it is second 
to no other agency. 

Beyond the family and the Church is the state, the 
institute of rights, and this like the family and the 
Church is involved in the very constitution of man and 
is a divine agency in the redemption of the world. 
The state, like the family and the Church, must be 
redeemed and transformed, that thus it may become 
an instrument in the establishment of the kingdom 
of God in the earth. The state, the means whereby 
rights are conserved and life protected, is wrought into 
the very constitution of man ; the stateless man, as 
Aristotle long ago showed, is either above or below the 
' Westcott, " Special Aspects of Christianity," p. 70. 



112 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

human stage.' It is an ordinance of God for the es- 
tablishment of justice and is a medium through which 
He declares and exercises authority over men. The 
state is the confession of our personal incompleteness 
and is the divine provision for meeting this need. 
" There is no power but of God ; the powers that be 
are ordained of God.'"' Governments are instituted 
among men that they may express and establish the 
righteousness of the kingdom ; in the words of a notable 
document, " the state exists to establish justice, insure 
domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, 
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings 
of liberty to men." In the great words of Locke: 
" The end of government is the welfare of mankind." 

2. The state is thus a potent agency in the estab- 
lisjhment of the kingdom of God in the earth. For 
this reason the state should be about the King's busi- 
ness and should seek the kingdom's ends. For this 
reason men should understand the meaning and func- 
tions of the state, and should then intelUgently enlist 
this agency in the work of social progress. PoUtics at 
bottom is the science of social welfare and it has at 
heart the creation of a social order in which the great 
ideals of the kingdom shall be realized. As members 
of the kingdom the citizens of an earthly state must 
endeavour to have enacted and executed just laws, laws 
which shaU make for social peace and moral better- 
ment, laws which shall be a transcript of the Adamant 
Tables, laws which shall declare and maintain among 
men the righteousness and equity of the kingdom, laws 
which shall express in civil life the wrath of God 
against evil and shall train men in the practice of so- 

• " Politics," Book I, Chapter II. ' Eom. xiii. 1-10. 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 113 

cial justice. Every man who believes in the kingdom 
of God and has a vision of the diviae meaning of the 
state, is to go out into the world and seek in all ways 
open to him the advancement of the race and the bet- 
terment of social conditions. He is to strive by all 
ways open to him as a man and as a citizen to make 
the will of God prevail in the social and civil, the na- 
tional and international relations of men ; in fine, he is 
called to build a social state that shall be the human 
realization of the ideal of the kingdom. 

The importance of these three institutions in the 
economy of hfe and the progress of society cannot 
well be overestimated. Thus far, however, in the 
history of the race the meaning of these institutions 
has been but dimly perceived ; and so these institutions 
have done their work in a more or less unconscious and 
haphazard way. No one will pretend that men gen- 
erally have yet attained to a full consciousness of the 
meaning and mission of these institutions, and no one 
will claim that they have done more than a fraction of 
their work in behalf of social advance. But more and 
more men are coming to see that these great institu- 
tions have a divine significance and that they are here 
to seek divine ends. Some time — it may be decades 
hence — ^men wUl see the meaning of these institutions 
and will consciously enlist them in the work of social 
redemption. Some time — we may hope it may not be 
generations hence — these divine institutions will dis- 
cern their divine mission in the world and will con- 
sciously seek the kingdom of God. 

3. This brings us face to face with a most vital 
truth : That in and through the Church alone society 
can never be saved and the kingdom of God can never 



114 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

be established. The Church it is fully conceded is a 
divine institution, with a great and necessary function 
to fulfill in the economy of life. But the Church after 
aU is only one of several divine institutions, all of which 
are vital and necessary to man's moral life and social 
perfection. In all times there has been a tendency to 
narrow the ideal of the kingdom to the conception of 
the Church and to make the two coterminous. It is 
not possible here to consider these two conceptions in 
detail or to trace out the causes leading to the confus- 
ing of the two terms and the substitution of the latter 
for the former. But it may be said that the confound- 
ing of the Church and the kingdom has been one of 
the most serious and fatal errors of the Christian cen- 
turies ; in fact it is an error that is nothing less than a 
dangerous and misleading heresy. It is a heresy in 
that it misplaces the emphasis of Christ's teaching 
from central things to " other " things ; and it has been 
a dangerous heresy in that it has beclouded the purpose 
of God and has caused endless confusion in the world. 
The kingdom of God is the all-inclusive term that 
includes the person, the family, the Church and the 
state. The Church is a realm of the kingdom in which 
its reign is realized, an agency in and through which 
the kingdom is revealed and established. But the 
Church is not the kingdom; it never has been and 
it never can be ; the whole is ever greater than any of 
its parts. The family and the state no less than the 
Church are realms of the kingdom and agencies through 
which it is revealed and realized. Just now, we are 
told, we need a more vital conception of the Church 
and a new valuation of its function. But we need no 
less a Christian conception of the family and the state 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 115 

and a Christian valuation of their functions in the 
kingdom. 

It is evident from the very nature of the case that 
in and through the Church alone Christian people can 
never do the whole work of the kingdom. The Church, 
by the necessities of the case, has its special organiza- 
tion, its functions and methods. The work of the 
Church is vital and essential and must never be min- 
imized in one iota. But the Church can never fulfill 
the whole program of Christianity and do the whole 
Vf ork of the kingdom. It is essential that Christian 
men should love the Church and devote themselves to 
its work. It is necessary that the Church have all 
kinds of workers such as prophets, evangelists, teachers 
and interpreters. But it is essential no less that men 
should honour the family and the state and should use 
these as means through which they may seek the king- 
dom of God. It is necessary that these institutions 
should have statesmen, reformers, leaders and citizens. 
The time has come for Christian men to understand 
the divine meaning and social value of these great in- 
stitutions, and then consciously and collectively use 
them in behalf of race progress and social redemption. 
Probably nine-tenths of the people who regard the 
Church as a divine and sacred institution regard the 
family and the state as secular and common institu- 
tions. Doing religious work has meant attending 
church, taking part in its services, and working out its 
policies. Doing the work of citizens, attacking social 
evils and seeking better civic conditions has usually been 
regarded as secular and non-religious work. For many 
long generations men have regarded the Church as the 
realm of religion and have regarded religion as the 



116 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

peculiar interest of the Church. This conception is 
passing and it must pass. Just now many earnest 
churchmen are in confusion and alarm over the lessen- 
ing hold of the Church over the lives of men. Eo 
doubt about it the Church has lost a certain measure of 
supremacy and centrality in the past generation or 
two ; it is not likely that it wiU ever again be regarded 
as the exclusive realm of religion ; it is quite certain 
that never again will Christian men regard religion as 
the exclusive interest of the Church. The fact that the 
Church has lost a certain measure of supremacy in the 
thought and life of men is sometimes interpreted to 
mean that men are less religious than formerly ; it may 
mean and we believe it does mean that men are gain- 
ing a truer conception of the kingdom and are begin- 
ning to realize that the kingdom of God is the interest 
of the family and the state no less than of the Church. 
The time has come for men to recognize the sacredness 
of all work for men and to know that in and through 
the family and the state no less than through the 
Church they are to seek the kingdom of God. 

The frank recognition of this truth will save men 
from much confusion both from the side of the Church 
and from the side of society. Just now there are many 
people both within and without the churches who are 
laying great stress upon what they call the social mis- 
sion of the Church and are demanding that the Church 
broaden its program and include this work of social 
salvation. There is reason in this demand, as this whole 
study seeks to show, but it is important that this de- 
mand be carefully considered. By all means let the 
Church broaden its horizon, widen its program and 
work for the whole life of man. But let us frankly 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 117 

face the fact that the Church has no function to do 
this work of social salvation ; at any rate it is no more 
the function of the Church than of the other institu- 
tions of man's life. For as we have seen the Church is 
not the special institution of religion, and religion is 
not the special interest of the Church. The Church is 
an institution of religion, a vital factor in man's search 
for the kingdom, a necessary agency in the work of so- 
cial salvation; but the family and the state are de- 
signed no less to share in this same search and to pro- 
mote this divine end. The state and the family no less 
than the Church are realms in which the reign of the 
kingdom is realized ; no one institution more than an- 
other is the peculiar institute of religion, nor is religion 
the special interest of the one more than of the others. 
One of the most important things before the Christian 
world at this time is the clear conception of the divine 
meaning of these great institutions of man's life and 
the full apprehension of the fact that in and through 
these three agencies they are to seek the kingdom of 
God and the salvation of human society. 

These three great institutions aU have a vital func- 
tion to fulfiU in the economy of human life. Each is 
an agency through which man realizes the purpose of 
God in the world ; and through each the Mfe of God is 
getting itself reborn into the hfe of humanity. They 
all seek the same end, the kiagdom of God and the 
welfare of man; but each has its own function and 
method. The Church is the institute of faith and 
hope ; its special function is to testify of God and of 
His kingdom ; to hold up the Christian ideal in the sight 
of all men, to inform the mind, to arouse the conscience 
of the people, to hearten them for courageous living, 



118 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

and then to send them forth thus taught, inspired 
and impelled, to hunger after justice, to seek the 
kingdom and its righteousness and to build on earth a 
Christian social order. The family is the institute of 
love and trust ; its special function is to mould the life 
for the kingdom, to be a school of social living, to train 
the growing life in the practice of self-sacrifice and 
mutual aid, and then to send forth its members to seek 
through the family the perfection of the race and to 
serve as good citizens in the civil state. The state is 
the institute of rights and duties ; its special function 
is to maintain justice in human relations, to seek after 
righteousness in society, to provide the conditions for a 
human, moral and spiritual life, to embody in its order 
the abiding principles of the kingdom, righteousness 
and peace in the Holy Spirit, and then to send forth 
its citizens to hallow God's name, to seek His king- 
dom and to do His will in all the masterful institutions 
of their social and political life. And this brings us 
to the last item in the program which we shall name : 

V. The Conscious Effoet to Build a Christian 
Social Order 

At this point we must pause a moment to note 
several objections that are brought against this whole 
conception of things. Against this background of ob- 
jections we shall see the truth in much clearer outlines. 

1. It is said by many people that Christianity is a 
spiritual religion, and being such it has nothing to do 
with economic systems and political programs. Again, 
it is said by others that Jesus Christ came to give men 
eternal life, and this is a purely subjective and personal 
thing and cannot be limited by the forms of time and 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 119 

place. Still others say that the kingdom of God is a 
personal and inward reality, for does not Christ say 
that " the kingdom of God is within you " ? And still 
others declare that Christ is here to save men from sin, 
to win them unto God and to build them up in Christ- 
likeness, and so Christianity has no vocation for the im- 
provement of social conditions. It is needless here to 
attempt to consider these objections in detail, for that 
would carry us too far afield. And after all it is un- 
necessary for our purpose after what has been said in 
an earlier chapter on the kingdom of God. 

There is, however, one thing that we may consider, 
for it is germane to our subject and it touches the very 
heart of the question. Granted that Christianity is 
here to turn men from sin and to win them unto 
Christ ; granted also that Christ has come to give men 
life, even the eternal life ; granted that the kingdom of 
God does begin within men ; and granted further that 
the divine life can never be fully revealed in the terms 
and forms of the human and temporal. Yet we cannot 
suppress the natural questions : What shall these men 
do after they are brought to Christ and receive of His 
Spirit ? How shall this new life manifest its essential 
quality and in what forms will it incarnate itself? 
What are these men of consecrated will to set before 
themselves as their life-work here below? A little 
clear thinking at this point will save us from endless 
confusion. 

In all times, as every one knows, there has been a 
disposition on the part of many Christians to regard 
salvation as an end in itself. To have men converted 
and fiUed with the Spirit has been accepted as the goal 
of prayer and effort. But as a matter of fact all this 



120 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

is simply the beguining of the Christian life and only a 
means to an end. The ultimate Gospel is not indi- 
vidual but social. Men are saved that they may become 
citizens of the kingdom. They are regenerated that 
they may become living stones in the walls of the 
Holy City. But not realizing this, many Christians 
have narrowed the horizon of their interest and have 
addressed themselves to the upbuilding of their own 
spiritual life. They have lived in these cities of earth, 
so full of iniquity and misery and corruption on every 
hand, with open saloons, houses of infamy and city 
slums at every turn, and all the time have neglected 
their civic duty, have allowed the most notorious evils 
to riot unrebuked and been content to dream of a city 
in the skies where these things are aU unknown. They 
have been in the world as salt, but somehow the salt 
has not sweetened things and saved the city from cor- 
ruption. They have possessed the life and leaven of 
the kingdom, but for some reason it has not permeated 
and leavened the mass of dough. In aU times, it must 
be said, there have been some far-seeing souls who 
have understood the real meaning of Christianity and 
have earnestly sought to build on earth a righteous 
social order. Savonarola at Florence had the true 
vision of the kingdom and faithfully sought to make 
Jesus Christ King of the city. John Calvin at Geneva 
saw clearly that men were chosen in Christ that they 
might be good citizens in the new commonwealth, and 
so he sought to build up out of these men a Christian 
society. The moment we get the fog out of our minds, 
give over the use of pious platitudes and holy ambigui- 
ties about the spiritual life and begin to see things as 
they are and to use the language of reality, that mo- 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 121 

ment we see that these men with the mind of Christ 
and the power of the Spirit are to join with Christ in 
seeking God's kingdom ; these men who know the will 
of God are to seek to make that will prevail here on 
earth even as in heaven ; these men who have the 
vision of the kingdom of God, who believe in the Holy 
City and hence know what a city should be, are to go 
out into the city where they live and build a city after 
the divine pattern. That is, these men who believe in 
the kingdom of God are to build on earth a social order 
that shall be the realization under the forms of time 
and place of the divine ideal. Several things are im- 
plied in this which we can simply suggest but cannot 
discuss in detail. 

2. This demands the adjustment and Tightening of 
the relations of men's life in justice and love. Life at 
bottom is a matter of relations. Eighteous life is life 
in right relations, and wrong Kfe is a matter of wrong 
relations. By the nature of the case all the relations 
of man's life enter into the account, and no life can 
be fully righteous till all of its relations are rightened. 
The man who would be righteous must be in right 
relations with God ; but no less he must be in right 
relations with his fellows. Human Ufe is all one piece, 
and no man can be in wrong relations with his fellows 
and in right relations with God. On the one side, the 
man who finds himself in fellowship with God finds 
himself in fellowship with men. The Christ claims 
kinship with all men ; and these relations which the 
Son of Man sustains to the sons of men are not rela- 
tions which He can put on or oif at will ; they are in 
fact part and parcel of the essential nature of the Son 
of Man and the sons of men. Hence the man who 



122 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

would be like Christ must like Christ enter into right 
relations with his fellows ; the very nature of Christ- 
likeness implies and involves Christlike relations with 
Christ's brothers. On the other side the man who would 
be man in all the meaning of the term finds that he 
can realize this end only in and through his relation- 
ships with others of his kind. That man may be him- 
self, that he may realize his true being, his thought 
and his neighbour's thought must meet and overflow ; 
his will must blend and interknit with their wills; 
through a mutual exchange of services their lives must 
interblend in some common social life ; in fine man 
can become man in the action and reaction of life upon 
life in social relations. Human relations are the fun- 
damental and sacred things in the world ; the rectifica- 
tion and adjustment of these relations in righteousness 
and love is a large part of the work of Christ for men. 
By the nature of the case this includes all of the rela- 
tions of man's being in all the realms of his life, his 
family and church relations, but no less his social and 
industrial relations as weU ; in fact the adjustment and 
rectification of these relations in all provinces of his 
life is a large part of the program of the kingdom. 
The kingdom of God comes as fast and as far as these 
relations are thus adjusted and rightened ; indeed the 
adjustment and rectification of these relations is the 
coming of the kingdom among men. 

3. This demands also the collective and continuous 
search after justice. This is one of the central and 
positive items in the Christian program, and it should 
be primary and fundamental in all Christian effort. 
At first thought, this item may seem commonplace 
enough, and we shall probably be met with the objeo- 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 123 

tion that this has always been the effort of Christian 
men. But the moment we consider this item in all 
that it implies, we see how novel and revolutionary it 
is. The first thing for the men of good will to do in 
their seeking of the kingdom is to maintain a collect- 
ive and continuous search after justice. 

What then is justice ? It must be confessed that 
the word to many people has a very vague and indefi- 
nite meaning. It is needless here to give the defini- 
tions of the word, for we are dealing with realities 
rather than with terms. But justice in brief signifies 
Tightness, equity, fairness, square-dealing ; to be just 
is to hold the balances even, to ask no more than one's 
fair share, to give to each his due, to treat others as 
one wants others to treat him. And justice, it is evi- 
dent, is both an ideal and a practice ; it is not enough 
foy one to talk of justice with his lips and to love 
justice in his heart ; but he must seek also to practice 
that justice in all his dealings with men to establish 
justice in aU the realms and relations of his Mfe. And 
hence justice is both a personal and a social law ; that 
is, there is a just and righteous manner of life for the 
person, and there is a just and righteous constitution 
for society, and the law of justice is the life of one as 
of the other. To seek after justice means the effort 
to establish justice as the supreme ideal and the daily 
practice of aU men in all the relations of their lives.' 

That this may be done two things are required. 
First, the Church must instruct the mind and train the 
conscience and energize the will in the thought and 
practice and love of justice. The Church we are ready 
to believe is here to instruct men in the way of truth 
•Batten, "The Clhristian State," pp. 372-375. 



124: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

and to make them know what is the good and accept- 
able and perfect will of God. No other agency and 
institution has either the call or the machinery for the 
fulfillment of this task ; and the Church has both the 
obligation and the means. To do this work the Church 
must know the law of God and must apply it to the 
life of men ; it must make men know what is the just 
and equitable thing not alone in church relations but 
in industrial practice ; it must inform the mind and stir 
the conscience that men may be quick to discern be- 
tween the just and the unjust ; it must be a kind of 
incarnate Sinai speaking to men for God and making 
men know the meaning of His law ; it must so interpret 
the divine law that the word may be quick and power- 
ful, sharper than the two-edged sword, piercing even 
to the dividing asunder of the soul and marrow and 
discerning even the thoughts and intents of the heart. 
One must not bring any railing accusation against the 
churches, but it must be confessed that the churches 
have failed more signally at this point than at any 
other. What is one of the most serious charges that 
can be brought against the churches of the past and in 
the present ? Is it not this that they lack the divine 
passion for justice ? 

Is it not this that many of the men most conspicuous 
for the injustice of their social and political and industrial 
life are yet the honoured officials of the churches ? In the 
cities and states of the modern world — and that where 
the churches are most numerous — the most high-handed 
iniquity in political and industrial life walks unrebuked 
and unafraid. In the churches and synagogues men 
guilty of the most open and cruel injustice in economic 
affairs and the most gross and bitter oppression of their 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 125 

working people, sit unscathed in conscience and un- 
troubled in heart. For two generations and more the 
conscience of Great Britain, the real active, militant 
conscience, has been agnostic and dissenter. For a 
hundred years there has not been a bishop of the Eng- 
lish Church who has jeopardized his " coach and four " 
by fearless and outspoken protest against national in- 
iquity. And in America it is not much better. It is 
true that there are noble and notable exceptions on 
both sides of the Atlantic, but these are individual ex- 
ceptions and prove the point. The churches themselves 
as churches have not known any divine and flaming 
passion for justice ; they have not maintained a con- 
tinuous and collective demand for justice ; they have 
too often been silent when great wrongs have been 
done in the name of business and politics. They have 
been bold enough, to be sure, in the denunciation of un- 
popular sins, such as drunkenness and the social evil, but 
they have been hesitating where they have not been si- 
lent, in presence of the most colossal political wrongs and 
the most notorious industrial injustice. In America, in 
fact the leaders of the churches have been very jealous 
for the good name of the Church and have been very 
anxious that everything should be done decently and 
in order. For years some of the so-called leaders have 
gone around with hand over the heart, with heart in the 
mouth, and with the mouth in the dust, lest some in- 
discreet brother should criticize the commercial prac- 
tices and political methods of some of their money 
gods. A generation ago Euskin declared that the most 
ominous sign of the times was this that men had lost 
the power of hot and holy indignation, and the indict- 
ment stands to-day in Britain and in America. This 



126 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

aspect of their calling the churches need to reconsider, 
and this part of the Christian program they need to 
fulfill. 

The other thing which the churches must do is this : 
They must arouse and inspire men to go forth and 
make justice prevail in the earth. It is not enough to 
cherish the ideals of justice, but we must make a col- 
lective effort to reduce those ideals to practice. This 
means that the men instructed and inspired by the 
churches are to go forth to testify against all injustice, 
to withstand every wrong wherever they find it, to ex- 
pose every falsehood without fear and favour, and to 
seek to ensure to each man his due. This means that 
these men of the churches are to make a collective 
effort to establish justice as the daily practice of the 
commercial world and to build up in the earth a just 
and Christian industrial order. That is, they must 
seek to secure for each person the conditions of a fair 
and human life in society ; they must see that gains 
received and privileges enjoyed bear some proportion 
to service rendered and obligations fulfilled ; they must 
put their faith and conscience in pledge in behalf of a 
just and Christian social order ; and they must strive 
together to establish justice as the supreme law and the 
daily practice of all men in aU the relations of their 
lives. 

This search after justice is primary and fundamental. 
It is vain to talk of a Christian civilization or to expect 
a Christian society without justice all along the line. 
In saying this we do not mean that justice is to be the 
only object of men's efforts, but we must insist that it 
is primary and fundamental. No society can be even 
remotely or approximately Christian that is not first 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 127 

fairly and approximately just. There is a deep signifi- 
cance in the old story of Melchizedec the priest of God 
and the king of Salem. This man, whose name signifies 
the King of Kighteousness, dwelt in the city called 
Salem or Peace. " Being by interpretation first, King 
of Kighteousness, and after that also King of Salem." ' 
Other foundations for social peace and political prog- 
ress can no man lay than hath been laid. Men may 
seek to appease the poor and to help the disinherited 
by charities and benefactions, but no permanent solu- 
tion of any problem can be found in this way and soci- 
ety cannot be brought one inch nearer its goal. The 
willingness of men to make liberal donations for libra- 
ries and public buildings while quite unwilling to con- 
sider the primary matters of justice and equity, is the 
sign of a decadent civilization and a sleeping con- 
science. The determination to make justice the supreme 
ideal and the daily practice is the evidence of moral 
progress and Christian life. 

4. This demands the conscious and collective 
effort to embody our essential life in social forms. 
Life by its very nature is organic and organifio ; that is, 
it ever seeks to create around itself a body in which it 
can dwell and through which it can express its 
essential quality. The ideal of the kingdom is a 
social ideal, and so it demands a social form for its 
realization. Life in aU its lower forms may be more 
or less unconscious in its methods and practices ; that 
is, it performs its functions without any deliberate 
aim and conscious effort. In man, however, life 
attains to self-consciousness, and man is able to set 
before himself a definite end and to direct the proo- 

» Heb. vii. 2. 



128 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

esses of his life. In the chUd of the kingdom this life 
becomes fully self-conscious, and now man is able to 
apprehend God's end and to cooperate in the fulfill- 
ment of His purpose. The divine life in man cannot 
have its perfect work till it stands forth embodied in 
social forms and institutions that are the human reahza- 
tion of the divine ideal. Man is not man till he is 
wholly social. Life does not attain its end till it is 
expressed in organic forms. 

Thus the making of the kingdom means much more 
than the making of good individuals. The fact is there 
is no such thing either conceivable or possible as an 
individual who is good by himself and unto himself. 
Man is a being of relationships, and right life is life in 
right relations. The man who is good at all is good in 
the relations iu which he finds himself ; to be a good 
man means to be a good member of a social order. Man 
is a son, brother, father, friend, neighbour, employer, 
worker, citizen, and he is a good man in so far as he 
illustrates in these relations his essential life. And the 
fact is also that if every person in the world should be 
converted and become a good individual the kingdom 
of God might yet be far away. For the life of the 
kingdom is a social life ; the virtues of the kingdom 
are social virtues ; the righteousness of the kingdom is 
a matter of right relations ; the perfection of the 
kingdom is a perfection realized in and through the 
perfection of society ; the ideal of the kingdom will 
hence not be satisfied till we have men associated in 
just, righteous, fraternal, and loving relations with one 
another. To realize the ideal of the kingdom, to be- 
hold the virtues of the Christian life, we must have 
goodness and love expressed in human relations and 



THE PROGRAM OP SOCIAL SALVATION 129 

incarnated in social forms. The kingdom of God is 
not an anarchy of good individuals. The kingdom of 
Christ is a social kingdom. 

This is a truth strangely overlooked by many who 
caU themselves Christians and seek the kingdom of 
God. This is the conclusion of the matter, that men 
are called to put forth a collective and conscious effort 
to associate themselves in right relations and to embody 
their essential life in social forms. 

5. This contemplates a human society on earth in 
which the Spirit of Christ can find a home. Before 
a great audience a speaker declared that Jesus of Naz- 
areth is out of place in this modern world ; and 
the audience enthusiastically applauded. An English 
bishop declared that the teachings of Jesus are imprac- 
ticable and impossible in our modern complex society ; 
and the majority of men assent to the declaration. All 
this may mean one of three things ; it may mean that 
Jesus was a first century idealist, a sweet dreamer of 
dreams, whose life and teaching have some social value, 
and may have some relation now to certain spheres of 
life, but whose dreams and ideals are impossible in the 
present order of things and who Himself is out of place 
in this modern complex civilization. It may mean 
that the religion of Christ has little or no relation to 
every-day life ; that religion is one thing — good enough 
in its way and place no doubt — and our modern social 
and industrial life is quite another thing — that cannot 
be radically changed at present ; that certain great 
realms of Mf e must be conducted with little relation to 
religion, and religion must be limited to its own special 
sphere ; and that modern society has hence no caU to 
build a civilization upon the life and teaching of the 



130 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

Son of Man. And it may mean — in fact it does mean 
— that Jesus Christ does not find Himself at home in 
our modern world for the very fact that so many things 
are wrong in this world. 

The men who believe in the Son of Man and pray 
for the coming of God's kingdom have just one com- 
mission : They are to f oUow the ideal of Christ and 
to buUd on earth a human society in which Christ can 
dwell and the Son of Man can find a home. The men 
who follow the program of the kingdom can never 
be satisfied till the world as they find it has become 
the world as it ought to be ; till the teachings of Christ 
have become both practicable and real in the whole so- 
cial world ; tiU there is built up in the earth a society 
that realizes the ideal of Christ, a City of God come 
down to earth. And so the men who believe ia Christ 
and seek His kingdom will consciously seek to live the 
Christian Life and to build a social order that Christ 
can approve ; that as the Christian husband and wife 
consciously and gladly Unite their lives to buUd a 
Christian home in which the Spirit of Christ can reign 
and each life is blessed ; as a company of disciples con- 
sciously and lovingly strive together to create a Chris- 
tian Church that shaU be a real fellowship of love and 
a real household of faith ; so the people of a community 
calling themselves intelligent and Christian will con- 
sciously and resolutely set themselves the task of build- 
ing up a society on earth after the pattern of the Holy 
City where every life has its place, where every soul 
has a true inheritance in society, where no one is 
viTonged and trodden underfoot, where aU men live 
together as brothers. In a word, the program of the 
kingdom is summed up in the one task of rightening 



THE PROGRAM OF SOCIAL SALVATION 131 

the relations of men, associating them in righteous and 
fraternal fellowship, interfusing their hearts in common 
aims, interlocking their wills in a common will, taking 
up hindrances out of the way, making straight paths 
for men's feet, giving every soul a fair inheritance in 
life, ensuring every human being room enough for his 
proper expansion, and embodying their essential life in 
social institutions that shall realize the ideal of the king- 
dom and in which the Son of Man can find a home. 

The kingdom of God in the Christian conception of 
things never means anything less than a human society 
on earth. And hence the program of the Christian 
worker must never fall short of anything less than the 
creation of such a kingdom. Suppose it were possible 
by the method of soul winning and evangelism to save 
every soul from perdition and save it for the kingdom 
in heaven. Yet this end, great and glorious as it may 
be, would be but a part, and in a way a secondary part, 
of the purpose of Christ. For, as we have seen, the 
program of the kingdom in its primary meaning is 
summed up in the establishment of the kingdom of 
God, and implies and demands the creation of a human 
society on earth. That man is made for glory and 
honour and immortality we most firmly believe. That 
there is a continuing life beyond the bourne of time 
and place is the plain teaching of Scripture. That 
man's life is dwarfed when it is bounded by the cradle 
and the grave the lives of many men all too sadly 
prove. That we never see the true grandeur and glory 
of life till we view it in the light of eternity we most 
positively aflBrm. But while all this is true, we must 
yet not miss the duty that is near in beholding the 
glory that is beyond. And so we come back to the 



132 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

first items in the Christian program and repeat the 
proposition that our present business is to seek the 
salvation of all life and to build on earth a Christian 
type of human society. The program for the future 
life and the heavenly world has not yet been announced 
to us. The program for this life and for this world is 
plain and positive. This we may note, however, that 
heaven is pictured to us as a city. Hence the best 
preparation for heaven is the practice of citizenship in 
the cities of earth. The man who has the vision of a 
Holy City and lives and labours to build that kind of a 
city in the community where he dwells has found the 
way of life and knows the will of God ; such a one 
shall never fail in the life beyond but there shall be 
ministered unto him an abundant entrance into the 
everlasting kingdom of the Father ; he will have the 
freedom of every city in the Great Empire and will find 
himself at home wherever he shall be. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Dealey : ' ' Sociology. ' ' 

Ward: "Applied Sociology." 

StroDg : "The Next Great Awakening." 

Ward : "Social MiniBtry." 

Heath : "The Captive City of Good." 

Batten : " The Churoh as the Maker of Conscience," American Journal 

of Sociology, March, 1902. 
Saleeby : "Parenthood and Bace Cnltore," 



THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 

THEEE are two practical questions that the 
world asks of its teachers and leaders. Is 
the ideal held up before men one which the 
facts of life and the order of the world justify and en- 
dorse ? Does it have behind it the prestige of the uni- 
verse and does it explain the processes of history? 
And is the method by which this ideal is to be sought 
and realized one which wiU lead most directly and 
surely to the goal? Does the program contain the 
promise and prophecy of the attainment of the ideal it- 
self ? Religion, we are told, means a knowledge of our 
destiny, and of the way which leads to it. Two things 
are implied here which are equally important: We 
want a Christian program ; and we must work by the 
Christian method. In the previous chapter we consid- 
ered the new social program ; in this chapter we are 
concerned with the method of social salvation. 

In any complete view of man there are four factors 
that must be taken into account : Heredity, Environ- 
ment, Personal Initiative and the Grace of God. At 
dififerent times and by different men the emphasis has 
been thrown now upon one and now upon another of 
these factors. In fact there has been the attempt of 
many to explain life in terms of one factor alone, and 
to minimize all the others. Thus, among theologians, 
there has been a disposition to explain everything in 
terms of personal will and divine grace ; these it is said 
are the all-determining factors in man's life and the 

133 



134 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

others signify little. Among modern sociologists there 
is a tendency to explain life in terms of environment 
alone ; according to some teachers man is a product of 
his environment, and we will have better men when 
we have better social conditions. It is needless to say 
that both parties are sadly mistaken in their view of 
man and his making. It is perhaps needless to show 
that such partial conceptions lead to a one-sided view 
of man and that they result in one-sided efforts for his 
uplifting. As a matter of fact aU of these factors are 
essential and it is therefore unwise to exalt one at the 
expense of aU the others. Where aU are vital all must 
be taken into account. Without in any sense minimiz- 
ing or ignoring the other three factors we here consider 
somewhat in detail the influence of the social factors 
upon man's life, and then mark our duty in the 
premises. 

I. The Economic Basis of the Spieitttal Life 
1. In the study of man and the determination of 
his duty no question has been more interesting and 
practical than the ascertainment of the relation be- 
tween the spiritual and the material. Is the spiritual 
life an entity by itself, something largely if not quite 
independent of its material environment, a quantity or 
quality unaffected by anything beyond itself and so 
able to determine everything out of its own inner pow- 
ers ? As every student of history knows many good 
men have answered these questions in the afl&rmative ; 
in fact the answer is formulated in great conceptions 
of sainthood and organized in definite schemes of church 
polity. The spiritual life must be lived by itself and 
from itself, men have said ; man may have a body, but 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 135 

the spirit must emancipate itself ; the spirit's life must 
be wholly independent of its physical conditions and 
must not be determined by them. And so we find 
men like the philosopher cultivating the spirit and 
ashamed that they have bodies ; we find saints re- 
nouncing all bodily comforts and] espousing the Bride 
Poverty ; we find men teaching that the spiritual life 
can be lived anywhere and under all conditions. There 
is a great truth here, more truth than the men of this 
age are likely to admit ; but after all this is not the 
whole truth ; and taken by itself it may easily become 
a great cause of error. 

In aU times there have been other teachers who have 
thrown the emphasis of thought and interest elsewhere. 
But not until these latter days has this conception been 
fully formulated into a coherent and definite system. 
It is needless for our purpose to trace out the begin- 
ning and development of this system ; nor is it neces- 
sary to describe the variations of it that have appeared 
in history. Within the past two generations, from the 
days of Karl Marx, one aspect of this doctrine has had 
many apostles ; and to-day it is finding expression in 
one of the most remarkable movements of the times. 
According to the apostles of this doctrine " The total- 
ity of the industrial relations constitutes the economic 
structure of society, the real basis upon which the 
legal and political superstructure is built, and to which 
definite forms of social consciousness correspond. The 
method of producing the material livelihood determines 
the social, political and intellectual process in general. 
It is not men's consciousness which determines their 
life ; it is their social life which determines their con- 



136 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

" Ideas do not fall from heaven ; and what is more, 
like other products of human activity, they are formed 
in given circumstances, in the precise fullness of time, 
through the action of definite needs, thanks to the re- 
peated attempts at their satisfaction, and by the dis- 
covery of such and such other means of proof which 
are, as it were, the instruments of their production and 
elaboration. ... In other words, man develops or 
produces himself, not as an entity generically provided 
with certain attributes which repeat themselves or 
develop themselves, according to a rational rhythm, 
but he produces and develops himself as at once cause 
and effect, as author and consequence of certain definite 
conditions, in which are engendered also definite cur- 
rents of ideas, of opinions, of beliefs, of imaginations, 
of expectations, of maxims. ... To recommend 
morality to men while assuming or ignoring their con- 
ditions, this was hitherto the object and the class of ar- 
gument of all the catechists. To recognize that these 
are given by the social environment, that is what the 
communists oppose to the Utopia and the hypocrisy of 
the preachers of morality.'" In the words of Karl 
Marx himself : " With me . . . the ideal is noth- 
ing else than the material world reflected by the hu- 
man mind and translated into forms of thought."^ 
Beyond question there is a great truth here, more truth 
perhaps than many idealists are prepared to admit ; but 
after aU this is not the whole truth. Where then does 
truth lie? And what shall be the attitude of the 
social worker to-day ? It would carry us too far from 

' Labriola, " Essays on the Materialistic Conception of History," pp 
158, 210, 211. 
'"Capital," Vol. I, p. 25. 



THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 137 

our main purpose to discuss these questions here ; all 
that we can hope to do is to notice two or three factors 
entering into the problem and to note their bearing 
upon the main question. 

2. According to the Christian conception of things 
man is a spirit inhabiting a body and using it as a basis 
and a means. But spirit and body for the present at least 
are so intimately related and so vitally interdependent 
that neither can be viewed by itself alone. As a mat- 
ter of fact man's spirit unfolds and grows pari jpassu 
with the growth and development of his body. In a 
real sense the development and unfolding of the body 
is the cause and condition of the unfolding and prog- 
ress of the spirit. Many things show that spirit in- 
fluences body; but quite as many things show that 
body influences spirit. This we know that man's 
mental and moral and spiritual life rises and falls with 
the rise and faU of his physical condition. Unsuitable 
and insufficient food affects the mental life ; foul air 
lowers the tone of the moral life ; men with starved 
and anemic bodies never manifest a vigorous spiritual 
condition. The spiritual life to be strong and healthful 
requires a good physical and economic basis. And this 
fact the Scriptures fuUy recognize and abundantly il- 
lustrate. 

In the Mosaic legislation and in the prophetic teach- 
ing this truth is conspicuous. The Mosaic legislation, 
whatever may be its date, is based upon this truth. It 
is Jehovah's purpose, as declared to the fathers, to 
bring His people into a goodly land, a land flowing 
with milk and honey, where they shall eat bread with- 
out scarceness and live without fear of hunger. There 
they shall live as Jehovah's people in peace and plenty, 



138 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

in gladness and joy.' This truth appears also in the 
teaching of the prophets. Thus according to Joel the 
return of material prosperity for the nation is to be fol- 
lowed by an even more signal blessing, the outpouring 
of the Spirit upon all the people. The order of events 
here is significant and must not be overlooked. As a 
scholarly conamentator observes : " A certain degree 
of prosperity and even of comfort is an indispensable 
condition of that universal and lavish exercise of the 
religious faculties, which Joel pictures under the pour- 
ing forth of God's Spirit." ^ And as the author quoted 
shows, the history of prophecy itself furnishes us with 
proofs of this. " "When did prophecy most flourish in Is- 
rael ? When had the Spirit of God most freedom in 
developing the intellectual and moral nature of Israel ? 
Not when the nation was struggling with the conquest 
and settlement of the land, not when it was engaged 
with the embarrassments and privations of the Syrian 
wars ; but an Amos, a Hosea, an Isaiah came forth at 
the end of the long and peaceful and prosperous reigns 
of Jeroboam II and Uzziah. ... In Haggai and 
Zechariah, on the other hand, who worked in the 
hunger-bitten colony of returned exiles, there was no 
such fullness of the Spirit. Prophecy was then starved 
by the poverty and meanness of the national life from 
which it rose." And the same fact, we are told, is seen 
in the history of Christianity itself. The Master Him- 
self found His first disciples, not in hungry and ragged 
communities, but mid the prosperity and opulence of 
Galilee. The Keformation was preceded by the Ee- 

' Exodns iii. 7, 8 ; Dent. viii. 1-10. 

'Geo, Adam Smith, "The Book ol the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, 
p. 424. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 139 

naissance, and on the continent of Europe, drew its 
forces, not from the enslaved and impoverished popula- 
tions of Italy and Southern Austria, but from the large 
civic and commercial centres of Germany. An emi- 
nent historian iu his lectures of " The Economic Inter- 
pretation of History " has shown that every religious 
revival in England has happened upon a basis of com- 
parative prosperity. And he might have added, says 
Geo. Adam Smith, that the great missionary movement 
of the nineteenth century is contemporaneous with the 
enormous advance of our commerce and our empire." 
On the whole, then, the witness of history is uniform. 
Poverty and persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and 
sword, put a keenness upon the spirit of religion, 
while luxury rots out its very fibres ; but a stable basis 
of prosperity is indispensable to every social and relig- 
ious reform, and God's Spirit finds fullest course ia com- 
munities of a certain degree of civilization and of free- 
dom from sordidness."* According to the prophet the 
physical needs of the people are to be abundantly satis- 
fied before they receive a special spiritual blessing.' 

The same truth finds clear expression in the life 
and teaching of the Master Himself. Every student 
of the Gospels knows that Jesus spent a large part 
of His time ministering to the material needs of the 
people, and in fact He formerly announced that He 
had come to preach deliverance to captives, the recov- 
ering of sight to the blind, and to proclaim the accept- 
able year of the Lord. In the Model Prayer the 
order of the petitions is most significant. When men 

'"The Book of the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, pp. 425, 426. 

'IMd., p. 426. 

'Hnghes, " Easential Christianity, " p. 150. 



140 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

pray they are to acknowledge God as their heavenly 
Father ; and they are to pray that His name may be 
hallowed, His kingdom may come and His will be 
done, on earth as in heaven. Then implied in all 
this, involved in the Father's kingdom and growing 
out of the Father's will, we find petitions for our 
daily human needs. The petition for daily bread pre- 
cedes the petition for the forgiveness of sins and de- 
liverance from evil. The order of things in the Law, 
the Prophets and the Gospel is the same. The pro- 
vision for man's physical needs is the condition of 
his spiritual health. First, material prosperity, then 
second the pentecostal blessing; daily bread and 
the forgiveness of sins and escape from temptation. 
The frank and fuU recognition of this fact will do 
much to clear away the misconceptions that have 
gathered around Christianity ; and it will do much 
to guide social workers in their efforts for social 
progress. 

3. The spiritual life demands a satisfactory eco- 
nomic basis. Because this fact has been ignored; 
because Christian men in the name of a false spiritu- 
ality have been indifferent to the physical needs of 
mankind, many people have little patience with the 
Christian churches and accuse them of blindness and 
uselessness. Hugh Price Hughes speaks none too 
strongly when he says that " There is an irritatiag 
tendency on the part of some excellent, well-fed, 
well-housed and well-clothed persons, who have never 
been reaUy hungry since they were born, to talk about 
taking the Gospel to the starving and the destitute, 
while they ostentatiously refuse to trouble themselves 
in the least about economic and social questions. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 141 

These well-fed, weU-housed individuals would assume 
a very different tone if they had been fasting two 
days, and if their wives and children were dying of 
want under their very eyes. The Scriptures every- 
where rebuke and condemn the selfish and cruel argu- 
ment that religion has nothing to do with feeding the 
hungry and clothing the naked. ... In special 
and individual cases the penteoostal blessing may be 
obtained while thousands are starving, but it can 
never be realized on a large and national scale until 
the voice of complaining ceases in our streets, and 
every honest and industrious man has a reasonable 
opportunity of making a comfortable livelihood for 
his family and himself. Let that never be forgotten." ' 
There are many who are inclined to make light of 
man's social and physical condition, and they never 
grow tired of repeating the commonplace remark that 
Adam lost his religion in Eden while Daniel gained 
his crown in Babylon. But such people, it may be 
noted, are as a rule comfortable and weU-fed folks 
who know little or nothing of the real pinch of Ufe. 
And such people it may also be noted are most jealous 
of their children's condition; they seek out the best 
residential districts for their homes ; and they toil and 
save to relieve their children from the pressure of 
anxiety and want. 

The duty of all social workers is very plain. They 
must learn to take thought for the material needs of 
men and to provide a good economic basis for the 
spiritual life. It is difficult, as every one knows, to 
enlist large portions of our population in the things 
of Christianity. And is not this failure due in part at 

' " Essential Christianity," pp. 151-152. 



142 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

least to the fact that the basis of their life is so 
sordid and insecure ? " Lives which are strained and 
starved, lives which are passed in rank discomfort 
and under grinding poverty, without the possibility of 
the independence of the individual or the sacredness 
of the home cannot be religious except in the most 
rudimentary sense of the word. For the revival of 
energetic religion among such lives we must wait for 
a better distribution, not of wealth, but of the bare 
means of comfort, leisure and security. . . . The 
economic problem, therefore, has also its place in the 
warfare for the kingdom of God." ' 

In this connection we may note the provisions of 
the Mosiao legislation with reference to the economic 
basis of man's life. According to the Mosaic law the 
land and its resources belonged to the people and not 
to a few individuals ; and so positive provisions are 
made for a fair and equitable division of the land. 
In that legislation the family is made the unit, and 
a certain portion is set apart for it. Provision is 
made whereby every family shall have its fair share 
of the common inheritance, and the greatest care is 
taken that no family shall be permanently handicapped 
and disinherited. Every family has a just claim for 
an equitable portion of the national heritage ; and it 
is made the duty of the nation to make a place for 
this family and to guarantee to it a fair inheritance. 
The legislator recognizes the fact that man's ultimate 
dependence is upon the soil, and so he seeks to keep 
the people as near to it as possible and to prevent 
their permanent dispossession from it. By means of 
the jubilee provision he sought to ensure to the people 

•Smith, "The Book ol the Twelve Prophets," Vol. II, p, 426, 427. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 14b 

of every generation a fresh access to the land and to 
prevent the permanent alienation of the ancestral 
estate." 

It is quite possible that this legislation is not to be 
taken in its literal terms to-day ; but none the less there 
are principles here which are a part of the Christian 
revelation and are forever binding upon men. The 
earth and its resources belong to the people ; no man 
and no set of men has the right to monopolize these 
resources and to hold them against the people. Every 
child bom into the world has some meaning in the total 
meaning and some value in the total value ; hence a 
place must be made for it at the table and it must be 
guaranteed its portion. To-day we recognize this prin- 
ciple in the most meagre way ; for we send the pauper 
to the asylum or the almshouse. The time has surely 
come for Christian people to recognize these principles, 
to teach them to all men, that a national conscience 
may be made and that a Christian social order may be 
created. The time has come for the people calling 
themselves Christians and beUeving that the Bible is a 
divine book and contains the divine will for human 
society, to study its principles, to accept them in all 
their bearings and then seek to make them regnant in 
the social order. 

II. The Peovistow fok All of the Conditions 

OF A Full and Human Life 

1. It has become very plain to the modern student 

that physical conditions determine many things in 

man's moral and spiritual Mf e. The criminologist has 

'Leviticus xxv. 1-55; Kellogg, "The Book of LevitioM," Chap- 
ter XXVI; Mtinger, " The Freedom of Faith," Chapter VIL 



144 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

shown conclusively that the average criminal is physic- 
ally defective at some point; he has grown up in 
morally depraving conditions, or he has suffered from 
defective nutrition, or his physical condition is below 
normal.' The scientist has shown that many forms of 
mental and moral backwardness have physical causes ; 
many school children rated as deficient are found to 
be physically ill-nourished ; some are suffering from 
physical defects of one kind and another; laziness is 
sometimes moral, but in millions of cases it is caused 
by a parasitic growth ; many forms of mental and moral 
aberration are due in large measure to vitiated air and 
defective nutrition. The sociologist has shown no less 
conclusively that environment is one of the determin- 
ing and potent factors in man's life ; according to the 
"teachings of sociology human nature is a pretty con- 
stant quality, and in itself and of itself it possesses no 
such differences as are found among men.' This means, 
on the one side, that the factor of environment is 
largely if not chiefly responsible for the marked mental 
and moral differences in men, as weU as the obvious 
and ominous number of dependent and defective mem- 
bers of society. This means, on the other side, that if 
this factor of environment were fuUy understood and 
consciously directed, it might be possible to eliminate 
from society these worse phenomena and to uplift the 
average of the race. 

It is possible to overemphasize this factor and to 
minimize individual initiative; but the simple fact is 
no one can live his best life in bad conditions; no 
growing life can attain unto its full spiritual stature in 

' Ferri, " Criminal Sociology," Chapter II. 
« Ward, " Applied Sociology, " pp. 234, 313. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 145 

an immoral or a non-moral environment. The ques- 
tions of fresh air, sufficient food, pure water, sanitary- 
conditions, social atmosphere, and clean literature are 
much more than secular questions concerning the social 
worker but of no concern to the spiritual worker. 
With conditions as they are millions of men are really 
disbarred from the heights of life. By giving them 
better conditions we may increase their chances of 
ascent tenfold. Some narrow individualists and so- 
called spiritual workers wiU persist in misunderstand- 
ing aU this ; they will scorn those who are seeking the 
betterment of social conditions, and will flout them as 
solemn triflers. But the wise workers for the kingdom 
who have some conception of the factors that enter into 
the making of a life cannot pause in their work tiU 
every other worker has learned to take a f uU-rounded 
view of man. One of the essential items in the program 
of the kingdom is therefore the creating of favourable 
conditions for the development of good qualities in life. 
As Max Nordeau has said : " Marry Hercules with 
Juno, and Apollo with Yenus, and put them in slums. 
Their children wiU be stunted in growth, rickety, and 
consumptive. On the other hand, take the miserable 
slum dwellers out of their noxious surroundings, house, 
feed, clothe them, give them plenty of Mght, air, and 
leisure, and their grandchildren, perhaps already their 
children, wiU reproduce the type of the fine, tall Saxons 
and Danes of whom we are the offspring." ' As the 
farmer has shown, what we caU cultivation is simply 
selective action whereby repressive and hindering in- 
fluences are removed, and the whole potency of air, 
sunlight, soil and rain are made available for the grow- 

^ American Journal of Sociology, Sept., 1905, p. 286. 



146 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

ing plant. The creation of better social conditions, 
that is conditions which both nourish and nurture the 
mental and moral life, is a necessary step in the Chris- 
tian program. 

2. This question of environment accentuates the 
social duty of Christian workers and points the way in 
social action. Environment is an all-potent factor in 
the life of the individual and determines a hundred 
things for every man. So far as the individual is con- 
cerned there is something almost fatalistic in the power 
and sweep of this factor ; a man can no more escape 
the influence of his environment than he can escape 
the puU of gravitation or the need for food. But sup- 
pose that society can control the environment and can 
determine every one of its elements ? Suppose that 
society may make an environment either good or bad, 
and may thus determine the direction and the rate of 
human progress ? In these latter days the study of 
sociology has shown the influence and potency of this 
factor in man's Ufe, and the ablest sociologists do not 
hesitate to say that nurture is more potent than nature 
in man's life. Now and then there may be a man pos- 
sessed of strong will who 

" Bursts his birth's invidious bar, 
And grasps the skirts of happier fate." 

Here and there an outstanding life may seem to be 
more or less independent of its surroundings and con- 
ditions, and to make a career for himself. But even in 
these exceptional cases it will appear that environment 
was all potent somewhere along the line and determined 
many more things than the man supposed. And this 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 14? 

game study which shows the influence of environment 
upon the life is also showing men no less clearly how 
they may control this factor and may enlist it ia be- 
half of human development and social progress. Thus 
far this factor has wrought in a more or less uncon- 
scious and indeliberate way so far as man is concerned ; 
but now men are beginning in. a conscious and telio 
way to use this factor and to determine its angle of 
incidence. According to Professor Huxley social prog- 
ress means a checking of the natural and unconscious 
process and the substitutior^'for it of a conscious and 
teUc process. " I see no limit to the extent to which 
intelligence and will, guide^^S^y sound principles of 
investigation, and orgamzed^^ common effort, may 
modify the conditions of existence, for a period longer 
than that now covered by history. And much may be 
done to change the nature of man himself." ' 

3. In view of this the people who would seek the 
kingdom of God and build on earth a Christian society 
have a very definite duty to fulflU. They must put forth 
a collective effort to provide for every soul the full con- 
ditions of a human, worthy, moral and spiritual life. 
They must fund their wisdom and faith and use them 
collectively in changing conditions that are hurtful and 
hindering, and in providing conditions that shall be 
helpful and uplifting. They must declare that no soul 
shall be allowed to grow up in evil and defiling surround- 
ings, and they must guarantee to every child the 
physical basis of a mental and moral life. They must 
hold their resources of faith and wisdom and love in 
pledge for all, and must provide that the help shall be 
greatest where the need is sorest. 

» " Evolution and Ethics," p. 85. 



148 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

In fulfillment of this aim there are many things that 
Christian men can do and must do. They will seek to 
remove aU conditions that make for human weakness, 
and to provide those that make for human strength. 
They wiU wage an unceasing warfare against all con- 
ditions that make it easy for childhood to lose its bloom 
of innocence and hard for it to grow up tall and pure. 
They will put forth a steady effort to build a wall of 
protection around girlhood and boyhood, and to shield 
children from stunting toil and needless hardship. 
They wiU exercise the sovereignty of the state in re- 
moving the handicaps Pnd hindrances that are upon 
men and they will sh'^ti oiheir wisdom and their faith 
in keeping the door of wtportunity open before every 
soul in their community. If conditions are unsanitary 
in the city they will organize a Board of Health and 
will endeavour to make them sanitary. If there are 
unfit tenements that poison life and breed disease they 
will condemn them and order the very ground to be 
disinfected. If they find that children have no play- 
grounds they will tear down factories and provide 
playgrounds, and will consider the money well spent. 
If they find that any set of men are making merchandise 
of girlhood they will order the magistrate to hurl his 
thunderbolt and end this diabolism. If they find that 
children are growing up in vicious ways they will 
establish Juvenile Courts and probation officers and 
will thus save the young from a criminal life. If they 
find that children are forced into mines and factories 
to labour, they will enact legislation forbidding such 
labour and wiU seek to create better economic conditions. 
If they find that great estates are increasing from 
generation to the disadvantage and the disinheritance 



THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 149 

of the many, they will invoke the authority of the 
state to end this abuse. If they find that the natural 
resources of the earth are falling into a few hands, so 
that a few own all the land while the many are aliens 
in the land of their birth, they wUl ask the state to 
vindicate the principle of eminent domain and to change 
this order of things. If there is social deterioration at 
any point owing to uncertain emplojrment, low wages 
and excessive toil, they will consider the causes of these 
things, and wUl seek to find a remedy. If there is a 
large class without true inheritance in life they will 
seek through social action to renew the opportunities 
and redistribute the advantages, " so that every child 
shaU come from the cradle to a fresh world with 
fresh incentives, not to one overworn and used up 
for him by the errors of past generations." ' That 
a single human soul made for knowledge and power 
should live neglected and die ignorant, they will 
caU a tragedy whether it happen twenty times 
in a minute or only once in a generation. That 
every child bom into the world should have a good 
fair chance for life and a fair inheritance in society, 
they wiU assert as a fundamental principle, and by 
united action they wUl seek to establish in their social 
system. 

In fine, the men who are seeking the kingdom of 
God on earth wiU not be satisfied that there shall be 
any outcast and unprivileged souls doomed from birth 
to poverty and sin, and disbarred by conditions beyond 
their control from the best things in life ; and what is 
more they will not rest till they have created such 
conditions in society as shaU make possible for every 

' Basoom, " Sociology," p. 252. 



150 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

one of its members a full worthy, human and moral 
life." 

It is perhaps needless to say that social reconstruction 
is no substitute for personal regeneration. It is obvious 
that no Golden Society can be built out of men with 
leaden instincts. That feeding men's bodies may not 
mean their spiritual renewal we aU know; that the 
creation of better social conditions may not be the 
equivalent of the kingdom of God we all confess. 
But it cannot be too strongly asserted, none the less, 
that social reconstruction may do much to mould the 
lives of men for the kingdom of God. It ought to be 
accepted as a social axiom that men are more likely to 
grow up strong and clean and moral and good in clean 
and helpful conditions than in foul and immoral sur- 
roundings. Good social conditions make for a good life, 
as bad social conditions make for a bad life. An im- 
moral environment usually means an immoral life, while 
a good environment surely promotes a good life. The 
fact is every element and factor in man's environment 
has some influence upon character, either for good or 
for ill, and hence it has a moral and spiritual signifi- 
cance. The men who see only the surface of things, the 
men who think they are spiritual and make light of 
social reform, have scant patience vrith all such efforts 
and declare that the social worker is dealing only with 
material things. But the men who see into the heart 
of reality, the men who view aU objective things in the 
light of their human and spiritual significance, know 
that everything that concerns man has a divine and 
spiritual value. They know that the work of creating 

■ For a fuller disonsslon of these qaestions the reader is referred to 
the writer's other book, " The Christian State," Chapters XIII, XIV. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 151 

fit conditions for human lives greatly facilitates the 
work of personal salvation and character building. 
They know that by taking up stumbling-blocks out of 
the way of the people we can make it easier for men to 
do right. They know that the work of making straight 
paths for men's feet is one way of helping and healing 
them. They know, in fine, that by providing for all 
the conditions of a fuU, worthy, human, moral life they 
can greatly accelerate the redemption of man and the 
coming of the kingdom. 

III. The Conscioits an^d Collective Efpoet to 
Save Society 

Implied in what has been said, growing out of it and 
applying its suggestions, are some items that are all 
important. The salvation of the world, the making of 
the kingdom implies much more than the making of 
good individuals. The fact is, as we shall see, the 
salvation of the individual and the making of good men 
imply and demand social conditions and social action, 
as well as individual effort and initiative. And the 
fact is that society needs saving as much as the in- 
dividual, and in the long run the power of Christianity 
in saving the individual wiU be measured by its power 
in saving society. We must therefore inspire and 
arouse men to undertake consciously and collectively 
the work of social salvation. 

1. In this work of social salvation there are several 
things, some negative and some positive, that must be 
taken into account in any large and comprehensive 
program. For one thing, negatively, the work of 
social redemption cannot be done by individual work 
with individuals. This work is vital and necessary and 



152 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

it must never be mininiized ; but at best it is but a part 
of the whole and a means to an end. By all means let 
every social worker bid a hearty Godspeed to the soul 
winner who is seeking out single individuals and is 
loving them into the kingdom. Would that all of 
God's people had what is called a " hunger for souls " 
and did some of this blessed work. And yet soul 
winners alone can never ensure the redemption of 
society and bring in the kingdom of God. Again, this 
work cannot be done by gospel evangelism alone. 
This also is a most vital and necessary part of the 
gospel program, a part that must never be neglected. 
In fact the neglect of a wise and sane and continuous 
evangelism on the part of the Church is one of the 
serious aspects of the whole situation to-day. But 
after all this item, vital and necessary as it is, is yet 
not the whole of the Christian program and by itself 
alone it can never fulfill the purpose of Christ or ensure 
the salvation of society. That this is so is made very 
plain in the Scriptures themselves. The Master when 
sending out the twelve and the seventy charged them 
to heal the sick and cast out demons as well as preach 
the Good News of the kingdom. The apostle, also, in 
speaking of the gift of workers to the Church gives an 
honourable place to the evangelist, but other workers 
are named : Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and 
teachers ; gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers 
kinds of tongues.' By all means let the Church com- 
mission men to this work of evangelism and by all 
means expect a succession of such workers. But be it 
remembered that by such means and methods alone 
the redemption of the world can never be assured. 

> Eph. iv. 11 ; 1 Cor. xu. 28. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 153 

Nor can this work be done by the work of rescue 
and reformation. No men and women are entitled to 
more honour than the workers who are going down 
into the slums of our cities seeking for the lost and 
trying to win them back to goodness and to God. But 
after aU this work, however vital and blessed, is not 
suflBcient and can never ensure the coming of the 
kingdom. For one thing in the work of reformation 
we begin too late to make sure of the largest success. 
Even granting that the soul may be won and saved 
through the grace of God and the patience of some 
worker, yet the life is lost and this is an irreparable 
loss. Not only so, but in adult life when habits are 
formed good or bad, life has its bent and it is tenfold 
more difficult to win and reform the life. As a matter 
of fact we might place a rescue mission at every street 
corner in the city ; yet if we stop here and do nothing 
to form and shape the hfe our efforts will fall far short 
of the largest success. Preformation is just as Chris- 
tian as reformation and it is just as necessary. One 
former is worth ten reformers. 

In a more positive way there are several things that 
must enter into a working program of social salvation. 
For one thing men must know what are the factors 
that enter into the making of a Ufe and must col- 
lectively and continuously enlist all these in the work 
of social progress. They must demand that every 
child shall be well born and shall thus have a good, 
fair start in Ufe. They must create around the grow- 
ing life a good social atmosphere that shall colour 
the thought and induce a right course of conduct. 
They must seek to shape and form the life for the 
kingdom and its righteousness. They must provide 



154 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

for every person the necessary physical basis of a full 
and human life. They must keep the door of oppor- 
tunity open before the life and must train the person 
to meet and improve the opportunity. 

This work of social action is no less necessary and 
vital than the work of soul winning and evangelism. 
By all means preach to the person the gospel of self- 
help and self-amendment; for it is a needed and 
necessary gospel. There wUl always be need of 
teachers like Socrates who can say : " For I do 
nothing but go about persuading you aU young and 
old alike, not to take thought for your persons and 
your property, but to care first and chiefly for the 
greater improvement of the soul." There will always 
be need of evangelists to summon men to repent and 
declare : " The soul of aU improvement is the improve- 
ment of the soul." But none the less there must be men 
who shall emphasize the duty of social service and civic 
betterment and shall seek to create better social customs 
and political institutions. As a matter of fact the im- 
provement of the soul is possible in and through the 
improvement of the life. In the last analysis the 
improvement of the soul is both a result and a cause. 
The improvement of the soul that begins and ends with 
the soul is really no improvement at all. The im- 
proved soul must mean an improved environment. 
The improved environment makes possible the im- 
proved soul. And after all, the deeper we go into life 
the more evident it becomes that what we call soul im- 
provement is the utilization of opportunity and the 
response to environment. 

2. That the present method of individualistic effort 
is not sufficient and that it contains no promise of the 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 155 

speedy coming of the kingdom is implied in an earlier 
chapter. The practice of charity, nursing the sick, 
feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners, keeping aUve 
the defective and dependent can never permanently im- 
prove the race and bring in the kingdom ; nay worse ; 
it has become very plain that some of these efforts in- 
crease the very thing they are designed to help, and it 
has become very certain that much of this effort is so 
misapplied that it means the deterioration of society 
and the degeneracy of the race. Sickness and poverty, 
crime and misery we have learned have social causes, as 
well as individual, and so they can never be eliminated 
wholly by individualistic action. And we have seen 
also that individual work for individuals has not pro- 
duced the largest results and so gives little promise of 
ever bringing in the kingdom. The fact is that by the 
method of individual effort alone, that is by dealing 
with results and neglecting causes, by considering one 
factor in hfe and ignoring all the others we can never 
achieve the redemption of man and can never build a 
Christian social order. It is very beautiful and Chris- 
tian to buUd churches and conduct rescue missions ; but 
while we are neglecting causes and are saving one poor 
outcast a dozen other girls are led astray through igno- 
rance on their part or through neglect on the part of 
society and are sold into white slavery. It is very 
Christian to nurse the sick and to equip a sanitarium 
for the consumptive ; but what have we gained if while 
doing this work we have neglected home conditions and 
have permitted unsanitary tenements, thus allowing a 
dozen other lives to contract the white plague and to 
doom themselves to suffering and death ? It is very 
Christian and very necessary to send missionaries to 



166 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

China and Africa, but while our Christian missionaries 
are making one convert for the kingdom the agents of 
the opium traffic are ensnaring a dozen men and are 
riveting the chains of the worst slavery upon their souls. 
It is very necessary that we seek to save lost men and 
women in the slums ; but while we are saving one lost 
man a dozen children are growing up in demorahzing 
conditions, exposed to all kinds of evil suggestions and 
forming habits which become a part of life itself. It is 
very right that we should preach the gospel of love and 
should work for individual souls ; but unless we do 
something more than this and seek to make straight 
paths for children's feet and to mould their Hves for 
the kingdom, a dozen lives will be warped and stained 
and their recovery thus made a hundredfold more 
difficult. The first of these things men ought to do ; 
but the second of these things they must not leave un- 
done. 

In the matter of city saving great things have been 
done in the generations past and much progress has 
been made. But the fact is the methods thus far fol- 
lowed have not saved our cities and have not produced 
a Christian civilization. To-day in so-called Christian 
lands it is an open question whether the ^eat cities are 
improving either morally or religiously ; nay there are 
thoughtful men who declare that these cities are slowly 
degenerating and that the churches are steadily losing 
ground. At this rate, by our present methods, the 
kingdom wiU not come in any measurable time ; in fact 
the coming of the kingdom is so remote that it can 
hardly be considered as a human contingency. What 
shall we do then ? ShaU we give up the salvation of 
these cities and be satisfied to save a few souls out of 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 157 

the wreck of a perishing world ? Shall we adopt the 
views of some premillenarians and say that the only 
thing we can do until the Lord returns is to preach the 
Gospel for a witness and give over the old world to its 
doom? 

"We cannot do this without disloyalty to Christ ; we 
cannot give up these cities without confessing failure. 
But this we will do, and this we must do : We will re- 
vise our methods and enlarge our plans, and wUl follow 
the whole program of the kingdom. We will seek to 
understand aU the factors that enter into the making of 
a life, heredity, environment, personal will and divine 
grace, and we will then enlist them in the work of social 
salvation. We have tried to make saints in hell. We 
have expected men to live saintly lives in hellish con- 
ditions. We have forgotten that environment deter- 
mines many things in life both before and after con- 
version. We have forgotten that the saved life de- 
mands a safe environment. We have tried to save 
souls for the kingdom hereafter when we are called to 
save lives for the kingdom here. We have forgotten 
that Christ came to save the whole man, spirit, mind 
and body, for this world and for every world. The 
times of this ignorance God may wink at ; but now 
He commands us to work in a wiser and more fruitful 
way. And so we wiU give increased attention to the 
life of the family, and will learn how to use the mighty 
factor of heredity in behalf of race development. We 
wiU change human conditions and wiU demand a bet- 
ter environment for little children, thus making it pos- 
sible for every life to grow up taU and strong and clean 
and pure. We will seek to provide for our neighbour's 
children the same conditions that we ask for our own 



158 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

children. We wiR remember that no man's girl is safe 
till every man's girl is safe. We will remember that 
there will be no pure air for any one of us to breathe 
till there is pure air for the least of God's children. 
We wiU create a new type of city life, and will seek to 
build from the ground up a city planned on Christian 
lines and buUt after the divine pattern. We will pro- 
vide playgrounds for the children and will remove 
many of the temptations that beset them at every turn. 
We wiU safeguard the growing life and wiU not allow 
it to become the prey of human harpies. We will 
break up the girl traps and will close the comer grog- 
gery. We wiU set ourselves " seriously to inquire 
whether it is necessary that there shall be any so- 
called lower classes at all ; that is, whether there need 
be large numbers of people doomed from birth to hard 
work in order to provide for others the requisites of a 
refined and cultured life ; while they themselves are 
prevented by their poverty and toil from having any 
share in that life." ' Too long we have neglected the 
work of nurture and training of the young, the conscious 
moulding of lives for the kingdom of God. Too long 
we have depended upon evangelism to convert the adult 
sinner and undo the results of years of neglect. To- 
day we must resolutely set about the work of training 
and shaping lives for the kingdom. To-day we must 
recognize the fact that man is a social being and that 
social causes enter into the making of his life. This 
means that we must surround the young with helpful, 
moral, spiritual, nourishing influences. This means that 
we must save the life in all its powers, relations, realms 
and tenses. By spending our time curing results we 

' Marshall, " Principles of Economios," Book I, Chapter I. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 169 

can never bring in the kingdom of God within any- 
measurable time. By giving our attention to causes 
and moulding lives from the start we may accelerate 
the work of redemption by leaps and bounds. 

3. The salvation of society is a social task and it 
demands social action. Individual work for individuals 
is vital and necessary, but alone it can never ensure the 
salvation of society and the making of the kingdom. 
The gathering of converts and the building of churches 
is Christian and necessary, but this alone can never en- 
sure the redemption of man and the progress of the 
race. The kingdom of God is a collective ideal and it 
demands collective action. Not always has this been 
understood, not always have the programs of men been 
the program of the kingdom. And the results of this 
misconception and failure are seen everywhere in Chris- 
tendom. In the cities of the Christian world — to limit 
the question somewhat — there are many Christian men 
and strong Christian churches ; but thus far there has 
been no Christian cause in the city and for the city. 
There may be scores, perhaps hundreds of churches in 
a city, each working away at its little task, sometimes 
fighting a dogged and yet losing battle, and each in 
its own way and place seeking the salvation of men 
and praying for the coming of God's kingdom. But 
thus far there has been Httfe unity of effort in a large 
way, no marshalling of the king's soldiers into one 
army with a definite and comprehensive plan of cam- 
paign, no utilization of all possible resources in behalf 
of one common end. In fact many good men have not 
yet conceived the need of any such plan of campaign, 
and so they are content to fight petty skirmishes with 
no decisive results when they ought to be in one army 



160 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

winning battles for the kingdom. The work before us 
is so vast and so comprehensive that it will require the 
services and resources of all to ensure its achievement. 
Something may be done, something is being done, by 
the present individualistic and competitive methods ; 
the largest results will never be secured till there is a 
union of all who love and serve in behalf of all who sin 
and suffer. 

4. This work can only be done by the most system- 
atic effort on our part. By the present competitive 
and haphazard methods of to-day we can never save 
the cities of the world in any calculable time. A friend 
of mine declared that he could determine the best 
residence sections of any American city by simply 
looking at a map and noting the location of the 
churches ; the churches are most numerous where the 
people are richest and fewest. To-day every church 
has a roll of members, but few churches have any 
definite parish. The consequences are that their own 
people are cared for while the great mass of the people 
outside the churches are neglected. Between the 
membership lists of the churches lie the great un- 
churched masses, unreached at present and unreachable 
by present methods. 

Another consequence is that no church has a definite 
parish whose condition and need it is expected to know 
and for which it is directly and plainly responsible. 
In view of this there is one thing for the churches to 
do and that is to form a federation of the churches, a 
kind of Church of Christ for the city, and assign to 
each church its special district or parish over which it 
shall exercise a Christian watch-care and for whose 
social uplift it shall directly labour. This, by the way. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 161 

is the meaning of the great vision of the prophet of the 
exile. In the New Jerusalem, says the prophet, the 
watchmen cry; they lift up the voice, together do 
they sing ; for they shaU see eye to eye when Jehovah 
returneth in Zion.' In common speech this seeing 
"eye to eye" has come to signify reconciliation and 
agreement ; but while this is a part of the meaning this 
is only a small part of it. In the thought of the 
prophet it signifies rather division of labour and co- 
operation in work. According to the prophet there 
are many watchmen in the city, and they aU work 
together in perfect harmony. Each man has his dis- 
trict and he keeps to it. Each man knows his duty 
and is faithful to his share of the task. Then watch- 
man cooperates with watchman and brother helps 
brother. The watchman's song is taken up by his 
neighbour and carried from street to street. So close 
are the watchmen and so alert are they that aU to- 
gether in unison they break forth into singing. And 
so close are they and so alert that each watchman 
can look into his fellows' eyes as they meet at the end 
of their beat. The city is divided into watchmen's 
districts and each man knows his district and patrols it. 
Through all the night beat touches beat and watchman 
meets watchman ; eye looks into eye ; every foot of 
the street is under the oversight of some man of God. 
Every gate of the city is guarded ; every corner is ob- 
served ; there are no un watched streets where an 
enemy can hide ; there are no souls and no homes that 
are unwatched and unprotected. By unity of effort, 
by cooperation in work the resources of aU are brought 
to bear upon the need of each. By system in work, by 

' laaiab Iviii. 8. 



162 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

collective action, the whole city is blessed and the work 
of God is done. The vision of the prophet is the ideal 
of Christianity and the way of duty. 

There are some principles of social action — social 
axioms they may be caUed — which are worthy of care- 
ful consideration : 

The state that is under obligation to punish and 
restrain the criminal is under obligation to remove the 
causes which make the criminal. 

The state that punishes immorality must teach mo- 
rality. 

The method of prevention is a great deal cheaper 
than the method of reformation, and it is also more 
Christian. 

The Christian who confesses his obligation to deal 
with results must confess an equal obligation to deal 
with causes. 

The larger the number of intelligent and devoted 
people in a city the more obligation is upon them to 
make their city all that a city might be. 

The things we ask for our children are simply the 
measure and type of the things we are to ask for aU 
men's children. 

Social problems can be solved only by social action. 

One former is worth ten reformers. 

The help should be greatest where the need is sorest. 

If heaven is a city the best preparation for heaven is 
the practice of citizenship. 

Their institutions and laws are a people's interpreta- 
tions of the Golden Eule and the articles of their 
essential faith. 

"We may best sum up this aspect of our work by 
bringing the parable of the Good Samaritan down to 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 163 

date. In the parable the Master is illustrating the 
meaning and the duty of neighbourliness ; and forever 
the parable stands as the perfect interpretation of this 
principle. But in applying the parable and bringing it 
down to date we may note men's changing conceptions 
of their duty in social service. The Good Samaritan 
has rescued the half dead man from the Jericho road ; 
he has taken him to the inn and has cared for him. 
And now what shaU he do further ? Yesterday men 
said : Let him build a hospital in Jericho to care for 
hurt and dying travellers ; let him equip it with gentle 
and loving nurses who wiU fan the flame of life and 
bring the sick man back to life. And for eighteen 
hundred years men in the name of Christ have built 
hospitals where in love and tenderness they have cared 
for the unfortunate and have nursed them back to 
health. What is the Good Samaritan doing to-day ? 
He is going up to Jerusalem and is calling on the 
police to clean out that nest of robbers and to make 
that road safe. And now as in the past he is creating 
courts and building prisons to restrain and punish the 
highway robbers. But what will the Good Samar- 
itan do to-morrow ? He will accept the dictum that 
things have causes, and that like causes produce like 
effects. He will discover also that there is no such 
thing as "criminal nature," but that what men call 
criminal nature is simply good stuff badly handled. 
He will realize that every society has the number and 
kind of criminals it makes, and that society stands in 
the docket beside every delinquent there. And then 
he will call a conference of his friends and discuss with 
them some of the sad facts and ask what society can do 
to create better influences around children and to save 



164: THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

them from ever becoming highway robbers. " Come, 
my brothers," he will say, " let us break up the boy 
traps in our community ; let us create a good atmos- 
phere around every growing life, and let us see that 
every child in the land grows up honest and pure and 
clean and good." If our purpose is to save the life for 
the kingdom and its righteousness this is the wise and 
Christian course for the Good Samaritan. If pre- 
formation is easier and cheaper that reformation the 
duty of all social workers is very plain. With every 
ounce of weight we wish to emphasize this principle 
and to make it the determining principle in aU our 
plans and programs. 

The acceptance of this principle wiU work a com- 
plete revolution in many of our plans and methods to- 
day. To save life we must begin at the beginning of 
life itself. To save life we must have a social program 
and a social conscience. To allow the life to be mis- 
handled and warped at its beginning is to defeat the 
very purpose of Christ for the life. To neglect the 
incipient life and hope to save the soul at a later stage 
is as unchristian as it is unwise. In fine, to ensure the 
salvation of the life we must go behind the individual 
and must seek to create a Christian social order ; that 
is, we must seriously and collectively undertake the 
work of social salvation, by Christianizing and trans- 
forming the whole family, social, political, economic and 
industrial Mfe of man. 

ly. The Ceeation of a Good Atmospheeb 
In an earlier section we have considered the factor 
called environment, and have seen that it plays a 
determining part in the making of life. The term 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 165 

environment is an inclusive word and covers all the 
objective factors in man's life. But as generally used 
it signifies primarily the material and physical elements 
in the world and their influence upon man. "We need 
some other term which shall connote the more subtle 
and psychic elements in the environment, and which 
though less intangible are no less real. What we caU 
atmosphere counts for much in the making of life and 
the determination of conduct, and the time has come 
for Christian workers to recognize this factor and in a 
conscious and collective way enlist it in the work of 
social salvation. In fact a large part of our work, as 
we shaU see, consists in creating a social atmosphere 
which shaU induce the right kind of Uf e. 

1. There are many elements entering into this 
factor called atmosphere, some physical, some mental, 
some moral and religious, and aU are important. 
Where aU are vital it is unwise for us to try to es- 
tablish an order of precedence and to emphasize some 
more than others. Physical conditions and political 
institutions, the economic order and the home sur- 
roundings determine many things in every life; and 
current opinions and social sentiments, the ideas and 
ideals of one's time and place, aU these enter into the 
atmosphere and all influence human life. We are 
learning some things to-day — thanks to the social 
psychologist — that must be taken into account in all 
our thought of man and his progress. First, man is 
one and his life is a unit. Sometimes men have not so 
thought, and so they have broken life up into parts 
and fragments, calling these parts body, mind and 
spirit. Sometimes they have arranged these parts in 
water-tight compartments considering each as inde- 



166 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

pendent and dealing with it by itself. To-day no one 
who thinks at all can think in such terms and under 
such forms. Man is a unit. Life is all one piece. In 
the most real sense the whole man enters into any 
transaction. No man can be helped and saved by the 
piecemeal method. Browning has stated this truth in 
striking words : 

Let us not always say, 

" Spite of the flesh to-day 

I strove, made head, gained ground upon 

the whole" 
As the bird wings and sings, 
Let us cry : "All good things 
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more now, than 

flesh helps soul." 

— Babbi Ben Ezra. 

There is a spirit in man, we all believe, but this spirit 
dwells in a tabernacle of flesh and blood. This spirit 
makes man akin to God ; but this spirit for the present 
has a physical basis. Since this is so the relation be- 
tween spirit and body is so intimate and vital that it 
is impossible to set them in antithesis and to consider 
each by itself. The spirit has a certain measure of 
freedom and independence and can guide and control 
the body ; but the body no less coniines and limits the 
spirit and determines both its motives and its choices. 

2. Every item and element in man's environment af- 
fects and influences life in some way and at some level. 
Changes in the weather affect man's physical and spir- 
itual condition. Lyman Beecher used to say that of 
course he believed in the perseverance of the saints — ex- 
cept when the wind was from the east. Careful investi- 
gations show that there is a larger proportion of crimes 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION X67 

of violence when the weather is hot and depressing. 
Food and air have much to do with man's mental and 
moral life. Some of the pessimistic and jaundiced 
doctrines of the Church may be due to a disordered 
liver. Experiments in reformatories show that the 
worst incorrigibles have been subdued and changed 
when they were taught to bathe and exercise properly 
and were fed nourishing and proper food. Many a 
man who shows traits of moral deficiency and errancy 
is suffering quite as severely from mal-nutrition and 
starved lungs as from moral perversity and vicious dis- 
position. Between man and his environment there is 
the most constant and active relation and reaction. In 
the last analysis, therefore, because of its influence upon 
man's whole hfe, body, mind and spirit, everything 
at bottom has a human and spiritual significance. 
"Everything which befalls man in the course of life 
and every day bears upon us in some way, in the char- 
acter of a spiritual discipline, a trial of our temper and 
disposition; thus everything develops in us feeUngs 
that are either right or wrong." ' The work we have 
to do, our companions, the air we breathe, the wind 
that blows, the smiles or the frowns on the faces of 
the people we meet, aU infect our spirits and deter- 
mine our feelings. The life of man, like the dyer's 
hand, is subdued to the colour of the material in which 
he works. 

" Whate'er we see, 
Whate'er we feel, by agency direct 
Or indirect, shall tend to feed and nurse 
Our faculties, shall fix in calmer seats 
Of moral strength, and raise to loftier heights 
Of love divine, our intellectual soul." 
'Dewey, "Works," p. 57. 



168 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

3. The atmosphere colours the thoughts and de- 
termines the life of every human being. " The atmos- 
phere of the home into which the infant comes, ' the 
psychological climate' of the first years, the habits, 
traditions, manners, contagious ideas of the family 
group — aU these things begin to form the conscience 
which shall always bear its nurture marks." ' "Whitman 
is both the poet and the psychologist as he sings of the 
" Child Who Went Forth Every Day." 



" There was a child went forth every day ; 

And the first object he look'd upon that object 
he became ; 

And that object became part of him for the day, 
or a certain part of the day, or for many 
years, or stretching cycles of years. 



His own parents, 

He that had father' d him, and she that had con- 
ceived him in her womb and birth' d him, 

They gave this child more of themselves than 
that; 

They gave him afterward every day — they be- 
came part of him. 

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes 
on the supper table ; 

The mother with mild words — clean her cap and 
gown, a wholesome odour falling off her 
person and clothes as she walks by ; 

The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, 
anger' d, unjust ; 

The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, 
the crafty lure. 

The family usages, the language, the company, 
the furniture — the yearning, and swelling 
heart, 

' Jones, " SocialLaw in the Spiritnal World," p. 123. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 169 

Affection that will not be gainsay' d — the sense 
of what is real — the thought if after all, it 
should prove unreal, 

The doubts of daytime and the doubts of night- 
time — the curious whether and how, 

"Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all 
flashes and specks 1 

***** 

These became part of that child who went forth 
every day, and who now goes, and will go 
forth every day." 

In a very real sense man is what his surroundings have 
made him to be. The ancestry of the two men shows 
that there is the same blood flowing in the veins of 
Edward VII of England and "William the Emperor of 
Germany. Yet the one might sit for the portrait of a 
typical Englishman, whUe the other might sit for the por- 
trait of the typical German. Suppose Abraham Lincoln 
had been born and bred in Mississippi and Jefferson 
Davis had been born and bred in sight of Faneuil HaU 
in Massachusetts. In that case American history would 
no doubt have been very differently written. "We have 
learned to-day that what we call human nature is not 
something existing separately in the individual, but it 
is rather a group nature or primary phase of society. 
" It is the nature which is developed and expressed in 
those simple, face-to-face groups that are somewhat 
alike in all societies ; groups of the family, the play- 
ground and the neighbourhood. ... In these 
everywhere, human nature comes into existence. Man 
does not have it at birth ; he cannot have it except 
through fellowship and it decays in isolation." ' Can 
the plant grow without air and light and sunshine ? 

■ Cooley, "Social Organization," p. 30. 



170 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

No more can man become an intelligent, moral and 
spiritual being without an intellectual, moral and 
spiritual atmosphere. " No man," says Emerson, " can 
be heroic in an unheroic world." " This," says Pro- 
fessor Small, "is an overstatement of an underrated 
truth. No man can be his best in a world unapprecia- 
tive of that best. No group can be at its best in a 
world not correspondingly at its best." ' In his time 
John Stuart Mill found that the improvement in the 
intellectual and moral condition of mankind must go 
forward very slowly. "But the hindrance is not in 
the essential constitution of human nature." It is to be 
found ia the fact that interest in the common good is 
at present so weak a motive in the generality of men, 
" not because it can never be otherwise but because the 
mind is accustomed to dwell on it as it dwells from 
morning till night on the things which tend only to 
personal advantage." ^ Men are selfish because society 
expects them to be such. "Pick out any trait you 
want in your child, granted that he is a normal child 
. . . be it honesty, fairness, purity, lovableness, in- 
dustry, thrift, what not. By surrounding this child 
with sunshine from the sky and your own heart, by 
giving the closest communion with nature, by feeding 
this child well-balanced, nutritious food, by giving it 
all that is implied in healthful environmental influences, 
and by doing it all in love, you can thus cultivate in 
the child and fix there for all life aU of these traits." ' 

4. The recent studies in the subconscious life have 
emphasized and accentuated this vital item in our pro- 
gram and method of social salvation. Prof. Wm. 

' " General Sociology," p. 577. ' " Autobiography," p. 233. 

^Bnrbank, " The Coltivation of the Humau Plant," p. 48. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 171 

Jamea has reminded us that the theory of the sub- 
conscious mind is the most important contribution 
of psychology to the world in the last fifty years. 
Much of the data of this theory is yet unclassified and 
some of its conclusions are yet tentative; but some 
things are very clear and significant. The world 
around us is aU the time affecting man and through 
all the avenues of sense it is making its presence known. 
Some of the objects in the world we see and are aware 
of ; but it is very evident that our eyes see many more 
things than our minds take account of at the time. The 
field of consciousness at any moment is very wide ; but 
only a small area in the centre of the field is directly 
perceived. Changing the figure, in every one of us 
there is a larger life than we know and larger than any 
manifestation of itself ; but all the time materials from 
this subconscious world are rising above the threshold 
of consciousness and coming into full view. " Our clear 
consciousness is always a selection from an enormously 
wider stream of subconscious or undifferentiated 
material for thought." ' It is quite possible that aU of 
the elements and factors of man's environment are all 
the time making their appeal to him, becoming a part 
of his life whether conscious or subconscious, and all 
determining the contents and the current of his con- 
scious life. The mind of man is far more sensitive than 
the most highly sensitized photographic plate and noth- 
ing in the environment escapes its sight. Though only 
a very small fraction of the things seen at the time are 
directly perceived by the conscious self, yet they are all 
a part of the life and all affect it in some way. " Many 
if not most of those characteristics, which used to be 
> Jones, " Social Law in the Spiritual World," p. 109. 



172 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

attributed to heredity, are products of the subconscious 
experiences of early childhood. Actions, manners, 
traits, habits of parents are subconsciously imitated and 
the little life sets itself by forces which are never con- 
sciously analyzed." ' In fine, everything that enters 
into the environment, the things seen and heard at the 
time and the things not seen and heard, the physical 
conditions and the most intangible sentiments, the pic- 
tures we did not notice as we passed, the faintest 
whispers, the suggestions of good and the suggestions of 
evil, — these all are elements and factors in the atmos- 
phere, and these all aif ect the hf e in some way. There 
is a whole world of interest and value to be explored 
here, but enough is known of this factor called atmos- 
phere to indicate the work of the social worker. 

And now we begin to see the relation of this factor 
to the work of social salvation. A large part of our 
work for man, perhaps the largest and most potent part 
— consists in creating such cm atmosphere as shaM induce 
the right Tcind of life. Would we have men and women 
spontaneously and habitually think good thoughts, 
cherish the right ideals, and choose the right ways ? 
Then we must have the boys and girls grow up in an 
atmosphere that is pure and good. Would we have 
men and women accept the Christian life as a matter of 
course and find in the kingdom their normal home ? 
Then we must surround them with a Christian atmos- 
phere from the very cradle and must have them breathe 
in the very air of the kingdom. Thus far we have 
given very little attention to this important part of our 
work ; thus far we have not been careful to eliminate 
from the environment of the growing life the things 

• Jones, " Social Law in the Spiritual World, " p. 121, 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 173 

that may suggest disorder and impurity. Thus far we 
have not seriously set ourselves the task of filling the 
atmosphere of the unfolding life with things that shall 
suggest holy thoughts, unselfish conduct, and heroic 
living. Here is a work for the home, the church, the 
school, the city, the state. No greater service can be 
rendered by the parents in the home than the creation 
of an atmosphere which shaU give a moral and relig- 
ious colour to the life. No greater task can be fulfilled 
by the state than the task of creating such an atmos- 
phere as shall make it easy for the people to do right 
and shall develop the life in purity and goodness. 
" Let me make the songs of a people," is an old saying, 
" and I care not who makes the laws." Let the Church 
create a pure and good atmosphere in society, and all 
the other things of salvation will take care of them- 
selves. 

V. The Mobilizing of the Men oe Good Will 
Last of all and as the summing up of all, there are 
several things that we must do in order to fulfill our 
social task. 

1. To this end, to fulfiU this task, we must keep 
alive in men the hope of the kingdom of God and must 
hearten them to seek that kingdom and its righteous- 
ness. At first glance this seems commonplace enough, 
and one may be accused of using trite phrases, but this 
item signifies much more than lies on the surface. To- 
day many men accept the idea of the kingdom of God 
in a matter-of-fact way with little conception of its 
tremendous meaning ; the second petition of the Lord's 
Prayer trips over the thoughtless tongue without 
awakening in men any suspicion of its social signifi- 



174 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

cance. But to the first disciples the confession of faith 
in the kingdom of God was a very significant thing ; 
to them the petition of the Lord's Prayer was both an 
article of faith and a dedication of life. The man who 
believed in the kingdom of God confessed that there 
is another order than the present evil one, even a 
divine and righteous order ; he looked beyond the old 
political systems of his day and saw that there is a 
great and divine system ; he looked beyond the little 
kinglets of earth, such as Herod and Nero, and saw 
another King, one Jesus, who is the King of kings and 
the Lord of lords. Not only so, but the man who be- 
lieved in the kingdom of God, by that very fact voiced 
a protest against the evils of the world as he found it ; 
he looked out upon the world and saw that things were 
changing and were bound to change ; he read the signs 
of the times and he declared that the old order was 
doomed and must soon pass away. " The Christians 
came into the world as rebels against the prevailing 
religions and customs. They waged war against its 
faith and fashions, against long standing habits and 
tolerance of evil." ' In course of time, however, this 
conception of the kingdom of God faded from the 
minds of men and less and lower ideas took its place. 
And as a consequence they lost out of their faith and 
life this spirit of protest against the order that exists 
and this hope of a society that is to be. 

We need to get back into the faith and life of to-day 
some of this early faith and spirit. We need to realize 
that the world as we find it is not the world as God 
wants it ; and we need to arouse men to seek the whole 
kingdom of God. In his time Thomas Arnold saw 
' Wernle, " Beginnings of Christianity," Vol. II, p. 348. 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 175 

this very clearly, and again and again he voices his 
conviction. He believed in the kingdom of God and 
he was not willing to postpone even in thought the 
fulfillment of his desires to a remote millennium or 
Utopia, such as in the minds of many men acts rather 
as a reason for acquiescing in the existing order of the 
world than as a motive for rising above it. His heart 
was stirred within him as he saw the enormous mass of 
evil which lay undisturbed because so few dared to 
acknowledge the identity of the cause of reform with 
the cause of Christianity.' In a letter to Mr. J. C. 
Coleridge he writes : " There is nothiag so revolution- 
ary, because there is nothing so unnatural and so con- 
vulsive to society, as the strain to keep things fixed, 
when all the world is by the very law of its creation in 
eternal progress ; and the causes of all the evils of the 
world may be traced to that natural but deadly error 
of human indolence and corruption, that our business 
is to preserve and not to improve. It is the ruin of us 
all alike, individuals, schools and nations."^ In his 
place also Frederic Denison Maurice protested against 
the easy-going contentment with the world as it is. In 
a letter to Charles Kingsley he urges him to write " a 
country parson's letter about the right and wrong use 
of the Bible — I mean protesting against the notion of 
turning it into a book for keeping the poor in order." ' 
And a later writer speaks in no less vigorous protest : 
" God forbid we should allow our personal gratitude to 
degenerate into a complacent acceptance of things as 
they are. Can I be satisfied with being up while my 
brother is down? A curse on optimism if it means 

' Stanley, "Life," Vol. I, pp. 207, 208. ' Letter XIX. 

» Maurice, "Life," Vol. I, p. 463. 



176 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

content with a system which keeps any mortal of us 
out of his sunshine. A Christian soul is bound by its 
very contract to agitate till every human being has 
room enough for his proper expansion, opportunity for 
taking his fill of Ufe." ' One great part of the churches' 
work is to keep ahve in men the vision of the coming 
social order and to hearten men to seek the kingdom 
of God and its righteousness. Contentment with the 
world as it is may be treason against the kingdom of 
God. 

2. To accomplish this, there should be in every 
community a group of people who are studying the 
life of their community at first hand and are seeking to 
know the will of God for their city. For many cen- 
turies men have cherished certain writings as sacred 
Scriptures and have studied them as the Word of God. 
This is most right and proper, and one can only wish 
that men might study these Scriptures more persistently 
and obey them more resolutely. But we need to re- 
member that the God who spoke is the God who 
speaks ; we need to remember that the Bible is not 
alone a record of what God did but it is a sample of 
what God does. That man has not read his Bible to 
any advantage who finds in it nothing more than a 
record of what God has said and done. He only under- 
stands his Bible who finds in its history and teaching 
illustrations of God's will and samples of the things He 
is forever doing. We need to remember also that the 
Scriptures are given us not to witness for a past and 
absent God but for a present and working God. And 
we need to remember, further, that the Scriptures deal 
with human lives and human relations, and that these 
Brierley, " Onr City of God," p. 198, 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 17Y 

are the sacred terms and means in the divine revelation. 
That man has not perceived the real meaning of the 
Scriptures who supposes that human life and social 
relations in some distant age or far-away place were 
more sacred than such lives and relations in his own 
age and place. As a matter of fact he only has learned 
the true use of the Scriptures who finds in them the 
key to human life in his place and day. The truth is 
human life and human relations are sacred things, 
whether in Jerusalem or in London, in Nazareth or 
in New York. We study the social and political con- 
ditions of Israel in Solomon's time or in Christ's day 
that we may know the sins of men and may read the 
will of God ; but no less should we study the social and 
political conditions in our city and state that we may 
know our sins and may do the will of God intelligently. 
We study the conditions in which Jesus lived and grew 
that we may understand His life and thought ; but no 
less should we study the conditions in which our 
children live and grow that we may know how to help 
them fulfiU their lives and grow as children of God. In 
brief, we must study human lives and social conditions 
to-day in the light of the Scriptures that we may see 
our way clearly and may know the will of God for our 
community. 

That is, there should be a group of men studying the 
Ufe of their community that they may know what are 
the things that help human lives and what are the 
things that hinder such lives. They should know some- 
thing about conditions in the alleys and back streets of 
their town ; they should know whether any children 
are surrounded with evU and deiiling influences which 
practically make a decent life impossible ; they should 



178 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

know what kinds of social suggestions are being made 
upon the growing and receptive souls of the young ; they 
should know something about the industrial conditions 
and political life of their city ; and we dare not say 
they are either intelligent or good citizens of the king- 
dom unless they know some of these things. " Down 
in that back street," says Buskin, "BUI and Nancy, 
knocking each other's 'teeth oiit.' Does the Bishop 
know all about it ? Has he his eye upon them ? Has 
he had his eye upon them ? Can he circumstantially 
explain to us how Bill got into the habit of beating 
Nancy about the head ? If he cannot, he is no bishop, 
though he had a mitre as high as Salisbury steeple ; he 
is no bishop." ' When we know the things that most 
vitally concern the lives of the people we will then be 
in a position to act intelligently and fruitfully. 

But this knowledge of social conditions is for the sake 
of action and should always lead to action. And so this 
group wiU seek to translate every bit of social knowledge 
into social service. These people who have studied the 
Scriptures and know the wiU of God, and have studied 
their community and know its needs, will therefore seek 
to remove bad causes and abolish bad conditions in their 
community, and to create good conditions and set in 
operation good causes. They will go forth to take up 
stumbling-blocks out of their neighbours' way; they 
will wage an unceasing warfare against every bad cus- 
tom and institution ; they will cast out of their city the 
things that defile, that work abomination and that make 
a lie ; they will also make straight paths for men's feet 
lest that which is lame be turned out of the way but 
that it may rather be healed; they will consciously 
' "Sesame and LilieH," "Of King's Treasnriea." 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 179 

and intelligently set about the creation of better senti- 
ments and customs ; they will seek to create a sweeter 
and more helpful social atmosphere, and to surround 
every life with more nourishing and moral influences. 
And all this they will regard as the fulfillment of 
their faith and the expression of their love and the use 
of their knowledge. 

3. "We must inspire men to live and labour in the vi- 
sion and power of the whole kingdom of God. We have 
been busy trying to get our own souls saved and to 
prepare them for life in some other world. We have 
been labouring earnestly and faithfully to save men 
from sin and to turn them unto righteousness. We 
have organized churches and have toiled and prayed to 
make them strong and Christian. We have wept over 
the lost nations of earth and have given our children 
and our money that the Good News might be carried to 
every creature. We have built hospitals and have or- 
ganized relief societies. We have opposed many social 
evils and have sought to end the reign of injustice and 
wrong and oppression. All this is most beautiful and 
most Christian, we cheerfully admit, and not one of 
these things could we have left undone. But not one 
of these things alone, in fact not all of them combined, 
can ever f ulfiU the whole purpose of Christ and bring in 
the kingdom. Now we must go beyond aU of these 
things and have some comprehensive and Christian 
program of social action and social salvation. We 
must seriously and consciously undertake this work of 
building Christian cities and of transforming the social 
life of the world. To-day we need some great inspir- 
ing ideal which shall command the allegiance of all 
men of good wiU ; we need some large and positive 



180 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

program wMch shall mobilize men into one army and 
send them forth to do battle with the ills of life. One 
thing is certain, we never shall see Christianity arise and 
flourish in all its divine power and beauty till men be- 
gin to seek the whole kingdom of God. "We never shall 
take hold of Christianity in its largeness and power till 
we enter into its fundamental and central idea and 
consciously and collectively seek to build a human 
society according to the divine pattern. 

4. To fulfill this task we must carry the standard of 
the Cross at the head of the whole column of life and 
must bring the whole truth of Christ to bear upon the 
problems of society. We must honour His principles in 
the social and industrial life of the world and must in- 
carnate these principles in civic and social institutions. 
"We must fill society with the spirit of justice and 
brotherhood which shall produce such forms of co- 
operation and equity as shaU secure the prevalence of 
friendship and good will among men. "We must carry 
the Christian ideal of a Holy City into the political fife 
of the world and must seek to enact such laws as shall 
be the human transcript of the Adamant Tables. "We 
must set our faces like flint against aU social customs 
and practices that are evil and hindering, and must seek 
to create better and more helpful customs. "We must 
understand the real mission of the state and must en- 
list the mighty machinery of government in behalf of 
morality and progress. It is not enough for Christian- 
ity to make good individuals, but it must also teach 
these men how to associate themselves in righteous and 
brotherly relations. It is not enough for men to be 
honest and conscientious in their personal lives, but 
they must begin to incarnate their honesty and con- 



THE METHOD OP SOCIAL ACTION 181 

scientiousness in industrial systems and civil laws. It 
is not enough for Christian people to preach the Gospel 
and seek the salvation of souls, but they must begin to 
labour for the salvation of society and must seek the 
whole kingdom of God. It is not enough for men to 
build churches and conduct Sunday-schools and dis- 
tribute tracts, but they must also take up stumbling- 
blocks out of the way of the people, teach them how to 
make more Christian homes, and inspire them to arise 
and build a more Christian city. It is not enough for 
us to have goodness and kindness and brotherhness in 
the hearts of men, but we must incarnate these virtues 
in social customs, in political institutions, in industrial 
orders and economic systems. Society needs saving as 
much as the individual ; the purpose of Christ wiU not 
be realized till we have the perfect man in the perfect 
society. " Christianity," said Immanuel Fichte, " is 
destined some day to be the inner organizing power of 
the state " ; and it is the business of all who believe in 
Christianity to organize the state after the spirit of 
Christianity. " There is in human affairs an order 
which is best," says DeLaveleye. " This order is not 
always the one which now prevails, but it is the order 
which should prevail. God knows it and wills it. 
Man's duty it is to discover and realize it." 

5. To fulfill this task we must also arouse and en- 
list all men of good will in the work of social recon- 
struction. We need to secure a union of all who love 
and serve in behalf of all who sin and suffer. The 
grace of love is the greatest grace and the virtue of co- 
operation is the supremest virtue. However it may 
have been in the past, the great duty of aU men of 
good will to-day is the duty of union and cooperation 



182 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

in behalf of the kingdom and its righteousness. The 
people of the churches must accept this duty first of all, 
and they must unify and federate their forces ; they 
must mobilize their members and must think of each 
denomination as a division of the one great army. 
They must come together and must make the King's 
purpose for the world their plan of campaign. They 
must then seek to unite the men of good will in every 
community in behalf of certain definite and practical 
measures. There are many brave and earnest men in 
aU communities, men who love their fellows and have 
a passion for righteousness; and yet many of these 
men have scant patience with the churches and do not 
confess faith in Jesus Christ. These men believe in 
honesty and justice, and they are ready to enlist in be- 
half of good practical measures. The churches owe 
these men a duty and it is this : The churches must 
furnish a rallying centre for aU right-thinking men ia 
the community ; they must seek to enlist these men in 
behalf of social righteousness and political progress. 
There are enough intelligent and right-thinking men 
in the average community to transform it from top to 
bottom. But alas, they are divided to-day by aU kinds 
of lines real and imaginary; and worst of all the 
churches themselves are not united and so they cannot 
unify the people. 

One part of the churches' mission is to set up a 
standard and then rally these men around that stand- 
ard. The churches must breed a generation of men 
able enough and courageous enough to deal with the 
evils of society and to lead the social faith of the 
people. The churches of to-day need a large and con- 
structive and comprehensive plan of campaign, and 



THE METHOD OF SOCIAL ACTION 183 

then they need to mobilize the forces of righteousness 
in behalf of progress and victory. We may not be 
able to do everything that needs to be done, but we 
can do something. We may not be able to bring in 
the kingdom in our generation, but we can work 
definitely towards that end. There is a marked dif- 
ference between the better and the worse. There is a 
vast amount of remediable wrong in the world. There 
is many a path that may be straightened for men's 
feet. Any effort that will help any soul in any way 
is the translation into deed of some article of the 
Christian faith.' 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Batten : " The Christian State." 
Ward, and others : " Social Ministry." 
Kelley : " Twentieth Century Socialism." 
Ward, L. F. : "Applied Sociology." 
Sidis : " The Psychology of Suggestion." 
DuBois : "The Natural Way." 
Patten : " The New Basis of Civilization." 

' See Appendix (or Social Service Program. 



VI 
THE CEISIS AND THE OPPOETUNITY 

IN these times there are many students of human 
affau"s who declare that Christianity is passing 
through the great crisis of its long history. 
"Western civilization," says my friend Prof. Walter 
Kausohenbusch, " is passing through a social revolution 
unparalleled in history for scope and power." ' " We 
are to-day — without most of us being aware of it — in 
the midst of perhaps the greatest revolution the ages 
have seen. The social order which has served us and 
our fathers for uncounted centuries is dissolving before 
our eyes. And religion, in the forms we have known it, 
is sharing in the dissolution." ' " The Church is to-day 
facing the most serious crisis in its history ; and if this 
crisis is not successfully passed, a calamity will befall 
the human race of the most momentous character. It 
is not a crisis that pertains primarily to any particular 
form of creed, ritual or organization. It involves the 
existence of the Church itself ; and bound up with the 
Church are the spiritual interests of mankind, so vast, 
so precious, so essential." ' The signs of the times in- 
dicate that stormy years are ahead of us, and the 
Church is about to witness an attack upon the funda- 
mental Christian positions to which previous history 
furnishes no parallel. "That conflict will effect 

• " Christianity and the Social Crisis," Chapter XI. 
'Brierley, " Sidelights on Eeligion," p. 270. 
' Crooker, " The Church of To-day," p. 66. 

184 



THK CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 185 

enormous changes, not so much in the faith itself, as 
in the forms it will take, and the reasons in men's 
minds for holding it." ' 

On aU sides we find many men doubting in their 
hearts whether Christianity is not played out and must 
soon become extinct. Many are debating whether the 
decline of all religions has not come, and with it the 
end of men's immortal hopes. Some time ago the 
Chretien Frcmgais gave an account of a remarkable 
meeting held in the Trocadero, in Paris. It was a wet 
Sunday evening when the churches were empty be- 
cause of the storm. And yet the vast hall of the 
Trocadero with a seating capacity of five thousand was 
packed to the doors with an enthusiastic and applaud- 
ing audience. The occasion was an atheistic demon- 
stration in which the speakers poured scorn on " the 
dead god on whom the priests live," while saluting 
justice, the moral ideal and the new social order. In 
all the nations of Europe, the lands where Christianity 
has been longest known and most dominant, we wit- 
ness the general revolt of the people from the churches. 
In addition to this in all lands to-day a great movement 
is going on among the people that has many of the 
characteristics of a religious movement ; indeed mil- 
lions of men declare that it is their religion, and that 
it is a good substitute for Christianity. Socialism is 
the creed of milUons of men to-day ; and yet Socialism, 
many of its leaders affirm, is the avowed enemy of the 
churches. 

In these times, as every one knows, there is a wide- 
spread uncertainty concerning the foundations of the 
Christian faith and the credibility of the Christian 

' Brierley, " The Common Life," p. 55. 



186 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

Scriptures. Not a few radical speakers and writers 
bluntly declare that the Bible is a discredited book and 
must no longer be regarded as authoritative and divine. 
Its historic accuracy is questioned ; its inspiration is 
flatly denied ; the authorship of many of its books is 
in doubt ; and the human origin of its writings is 
positively affirmed. On the part of many of the people, 
the rank and file of the churches, there is a grave sus- 
picion that some flaws have been found in the founda- 
tions of the faith, flaws it is said which the preachers 
are vainly trying to conceal, but flaws which are be- 
coming patent to all. And many are saying — both 
within and without the churches — that the Church as it 
now exists is an outgrown institution and is out of a 
job ; in fact some declare that there is little reason 
why it should any longer be called Christian. Some 
years ago Professor Bruce said : " I am even disposed 
to think that a great and steadily increasing portion 
of the moral worth of society lies outside the Church, 
separated from it not by godlessness, but by exception- 
ally moral earnestness." In America and England at 
this time many earnest and devoted churchmen confess 
that they see but little future for their church. And 
all this it may be said is not so much a question con- 
cerning any book in the Bible as concerning the very 
validity of the Book itself. It is not so much doubt 
concerning any special doctrines of Christianity as 
concerning the very value of Christianity itself. 

We are living in a new age with new ways of 
thought and with new problems to meet. Can Chris- 
tianity solve these problems and meet these needs? 
Can it produce adequate results in this twentieth 
century and silence all these questionings? Do the 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 187 

Scriptures bring a living and potent message to the 
men of to-day and can they authenticate themselves in 
the consciousness of the modern world? Can the 
churches bearing the name of Christ repeat and con- 
tinue the works of Christ and thus demonstrate their 
right to be called Christian ? This fact may be noted 
for it is vital: The evidences which revealed the 
power of Christianity in one age and proved its divine 
origin are not sufficient to demonstrate its diviae origin 
and to satisfy the thought of to-day. First century 
results were sufficient for first century evidences; 
twentieth century results must constitute twentieth 
century evidences. The fact that Christianity once 
was a power in the world is interesting as a matter 
of history, but this means little to us of this latter age. 
Oh, that God would do something in our time, cried 
Carlyle ; oh, that He would show that He is alive to- 
day. Belief in God must be more than a matter of 
historic records, a tradition of past achievements, a 
memory of departed glory. The world to-day wants a 
Living God, one who is in the world now and is doing 
great things to-day. And this demand is fair and just ; 
for according to the Master the test of fruits is the 
final test. By their fruits we are to know the true 
from the false, whether in Uves, churches, Bibles and 
religions. And the truth of religion must be found 
in itself and not in other things ; for the Master 
everywhere assumes that the truth of God is its own 
sufficient and surpassing evidence, and the divine word 
carries within itself the proofs of its divine origin. If 
we are to have a twentieth century faith we must have 
twentieth century credentials. 
The great need of to-day is some clear and con- 



188 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

vincing proof that Christianity is of God. The great 
need in this hour is some new evidence that the 
Gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of 
society. The great need of men is some new enthu- 
siasm in life which shall set their hearts aflame with 
hope and shall set their feet marching towards the 
mount of vision. "We have considered in the earher 
chapters the problems of to-day and have been brought 
face to face with the new task before the Christian dis- 
cipleship. We have considered in the later chapters 
some of the things that are implied in this task 
and some of the methods that must be employed. 
The new task to which the believers in Christianity 
are fairly committed is the solution of the social 
problem and the building of a better and more Christian 
tjrpe of human society. In the fulfillment of this task 
the Christian discipleship will furnish the new cre- 
dentials that are needed to satisfy the inquiries of men ; 
they will show the real and essential nature of Chris- 
tianity ; they will waken in men a new enthusiasm in 
life and service, and they wiU achieve great results for 
the kingdom of God on earth. "We cannot discuss these 
things in detail, but we must note a few items that are 
implied in this undertaking. 

I. The New Credentials of Chkistianity 

The questioning of to-day is not so much questioning 
concerning this or that book of Scripture, this or that 
form of church organization, or this or that doctrine of 
Christianity, as questioning concerning the value of the 
Scriptures, the necessity of the Church and the very 
existence of Christianity. The credentials that are of- 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 189 

fered must meet all of these questions and cover all of 
these objections. 

1. The Scriptures must prove their value by their 
power to help men w^here they most need help. "With 
reference to the vpritings in the canon we may note that 
the uncertainty in the minds of men to-day grows out 
of the fact that these writings do not authenticate 
themselves in the consciousness of men as once they 
did. However it may have been in the past these writ- 
ings have lost a certain validity and value to the 
modern man ; and the reason for this is not far to seek : 
As these writings have been read and taught they have 
not met man at the point of his deepest need, and so 
they have not brought with themselves the evidence 
that they proceeded from the Spirit of God. To the 
mind and heart of the early Church certain writings 
authenticated themselves and spoke with an authority 
from which there was no appeal. For these writings 
spoke home to the consciousness of the early disciple- 
ship and met man at the point of his deepest need. 
These writings were found profitable for doctrine, for 
instruction, for correction, for guidance, and men knew 
that there was in them a divine life and power. And 
so they called them sacred writings and accepted them 
as a revelation of God's will. This, as Coleridge long 
ago pointed out, is the final and suflicient test of the 
Scriptures. " Whatever finds me, bears witness for it- 
self that it has proceeded from the Holy Spirit." 
Again: "The truth revealed through Christ has its 
evidence in itself, and the proof of its divine authority 
in its fitness to our nature and needs." ' 

> Coleridge, " Letters on the Inspiration of the Scriptures, " Letters I 
and IV. 



190 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

How can we meet the questions that have arisen in 
our time concerniag these books, their inspiration, their 
canonicity, their value? The old arguments for the 
Scriptures have little meaning to the men of to-day ; 
for we have come to see that no mere logical argu- 
ments, no external media, no extra-spiritual criteria can 
be adduced to verify and authenticate a direct, inward, 
spiritual revelation. " Eevelation is light. It does not 
need that which is apart from itself to throw an illu- 
mination upon it. It has the self-evidencing nature of 
light." ' As a matter of fact the authority and divinity 
of the Scriptures must be found in their power to pro- 
duce direct and divine results. The various writings in 
the canon authenticated themselves in the consciousness 
of the early Church because they spoke home to the 
heart and conscience of men and met their needs and 
solved their problems. This was the final and sufficient 
evidence that they were of God, and no other evidence 
was needed ; in fact no other evidence was possible. 
The world to-day has its own problems and needs, and 
these are most real and pressing. And what is more, 
the world wants light upon these problems and some 
help in its need. In the Christian Scriptures — Chris- 
tians believe— we have the very truth of God, the mes- 
sage that can help and save men, the light that can 
iUumine the dark way, the principles that can solve the 
difficulties of society. In view of this the duty of the 
men who believe in the Scriptures is very plain: They 
must make the message very definite ; they must let the 
truth shine out ; they must teach men how to apply 
these principles; they must bring the truth to bear 
upon men's problems and needs, and they must con- 
1 Mnlford, " The Eepublio of God," p, 85. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 191 

sider these problems and needs in the light of the 
Scriptures and their teaching. By their neglect of the 
Scriptures, by their unwillingness to apply Christian 
principles to social life, Christian men are making it 
hard for men to believe in the Scriptures or even to 
have an interest in them. But by opening the Scrip- 
tures to men, by applying their principles and making 
Jesus Christ and His truth a fact in the universal life 
of the world. Christians can solve the problems of men 
and can make the world believe that the Scriptures are 
of God. In their power to meet man at the point of 
his deepest need to-day these writings will prove their 
divine origin ; in their power to dissolve men's doubts 
these writings will authenticate themselves ; in their 
success in showing men the direction of true progress 
will these writings canonize themselves with more than 
their old authority and thereby prove that they are in- 
deed the "Word of the Lord. 

2. The churches must offer their fruits in evidence 
of their Uf e. The time is coming and is even now here 
when men will demand a different set of credentials 
from a Christian Church in proof of its right to call it- 
self Christian. The time has been when churches 
claiming to be Christian pointed to their apostolic suc- 
cession, to their historical continuity, to their creeds and 
doctrines, to their imitation of the New Testament or- 
dinances, and to their reproduction of the early form of 
church organization; and in these they found the 
credentials of their authority and the justification of 
their claims. 

These things are all worthy of careful consideration 
and they must never be slighted or minimized. But 
these are not the credentials the world demands to-day, 



192 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

nor are they the evidences that can satisfy men. The 
test of fruits is the final and sufficient test, and as the 
churches meet this test will they prove their right to be 
called Christian. The only credentials that can con- 
vince men to-day that a church is apostolic is found in 
the possession of the apostolic spirit and the repetition 
of the apostolic works. In so far then as the churches 
can poi&t to men that are changed and women with 
the demons gone out of them sitting clothed and in 
their right mind at the feet of Jesus ; in so far as they 
can show homes that are Christian and cities that are 
redeemed from slums and red light districts abolished ; 
in so far as they can show the streets full of boys and 
girls playing in the broad places thereof ; in so far as 
they can take up stumbling-blocks out of the way of 
the people and can deliver men from temptation ; in so 
far as they can enable every life to grow up in virtue 
and purity, will they succeed in proving that they are 
churches of the Lord Jesus Christ and that the Gospel 
they preach is the power of God unto salvation. The 
time has gone by when the churches can employ force 
to put down any unwelcome doctrines or dangerous 
questions. "When society permitted men to think it 
made obsolete such things as Cossacks and inquisitions 
and thumbscrews. No error is safe where men are 
seeking the truth. !N"othing but truth can satisfy the 
heart of man. The world will ask questions concerning 
the Church and the Gospel, and the world has the 
right to do so. The world will ask the churches to 
show their fruits in evidence, and the Master declares 
that this is a fair test. The time is here when truth 
must come out into the open and must either be able 
to meet all honest tests or it must retire in confusion 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 193 

from the field. According to the Master the test of 
fruits is the final test for men and for churches, and 
the people who bear the name of Christian ought to be 
the first people in the world to meet this test. 

3. The test of fruits is the final test for Christianity 
itself. This test of fruits, this answer in results is the 
final test of Christianity. This test of life, this answer 
in results is a very severe but it is an entirely fair test. 
The test of power and efficiency, the ability to bring 
something to pass, the power to renew lives and trans- 
form society, this is the test which must silence all 
doubters and convince all gainsayers. The struggle of 
the world religions is upon us, and the law of the 
survival of the fittest applies here as elsewhere. It is 
simple folly for Christians to complain of this law and 
try to keep the Gospel out of comparison with the 
other so-called Gospels of the world. It is especially 
vain and short-sighted after the test which the Master 
has Himself proposed. 

Thus Christianity has its fortunes to make or to 
lose in the wider fields of man's social life. The 
problems of to-day are social problems, and the 
special task of to-day is a social task. The race 
is coming to self-consciousness and men are begin- 
ning to feel the evils of the world as they never felt 
them before. A hundred new questions are up for a 
hearing, and upon the answer to these questions wiU 
be the future of the race. Thus the power of the 
Gospel to-day must be proved in its ability to solve 
these social questions and to show man the way of true 
progress ; the power of the Gospel must be proved in 
its ability to transform our cities and to create a finer 
and higher type of human society. To say that Chris- 



194 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHEISTIANITY 

tianity can save the soul and can show it the way to 
heaven is not enough ; to say that Christianity creates 
a finer type of character and a higher form of society 
than any other religion is not enough to make good its 
claim as the final and universal religion. To silence 
all objections, to vindicate its claim, it must now prove 
its ability to solve the questions of man's social life and 
to create the highest possible type of human society. 
The time is coming and it is even now here when the 
value of Christianity will be proved not alone in its 
ability to make good individuals who seek to prepare 
themselves for heaven, not alone in its ability to make 
converts and build them up into churches, not alone in 
its ability to inspire mission societies and to create 
Christian orphanages ; but its power is to be shown in 
its ability to develop men and women into good citizens 
of the kingdom with a citizen's intelligence and con- 
science ; in its ability to associate men of good wiU into 
just and fraternal economic and industrial relations; 
in its ability to abolish poverty and to drain social 
slums and city quagmires ; in its ability to transform 
cities of destruction into the city of God and to build 
up in the earth a Christian social order. 

This means that the only Christianity that can main- 
tain itself in this modern world is the Christianity 
that can offer its fruits in evidence. This means that 
our modern Christianity, if it would command the 
allegiance of men, must be real and must deal with 
real problems. It must prove its courage by probing 
the wounds of society to the bottom and it must prove 
its ability to cure the ills of society. The only Chris- 
tianity that can win its way in these times is a Chris- 
tianity that can meet the needs of men and can bring 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 195 

the very power of God to aid them in their work. The 
only Christianity that can win its way in this modern 
world — in fact the only Christianity that is worthy of 
serious consideration — is a Christianity that can show 
men a truer and larger ideal, that can inspire men to 
love and follow that ideal, that can mobilize them as an 
army and can send them forth to do battle with the ills 
of life, and can impel them to arise and build the finest 
and most worthy type of human society. This is the 
thing that Christianity must do to carry off the prize 
from the great debate of the world's religions. This is 
the thing that Christianity must do if it would have 
any bright future in this modern world. The modern 
world awaits such a religion and it will know it when 
it comes. If Christianity can do this, if it can create 
the finest and highest type of human society ; if it can 
redeem our cities and can transform them into cities of 
God, it will demonstrate its divine origin and will com- 
mand the future. If it cannot do this ; if it cannot 
sweeten our social life and purify our political rela- 
tions ; if it cannot build better and diviner cities after 
the heavenly pattern ; if it cannot do this or if it will 
not do this, it will discount every one of its claims and 
will be a vanishing power in the days to come. The 
very honour of Christ, the very existence of Christianity 
is at stake in the fulfillment of this social task. 

There are great and critical problems before the 
world to-day that lay some great and urgent tasks 
upon the mind and conscience of the modern man. 
By its ability to solve these problems the Christianity 
of to-morrow is to be tested ; by its ability to lead in the 
fulfillment of these tasks the Church is going to be rated 
in the days to come. The whole question how men 



196 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

shall live together and share in the common heritage, 
how every life shall have a fair inheritance in society 
and shall be brought into the family cii'cle and given 
his place in life, is up for a rehearing ; and this ques- 
tion will not be settled till it is settled in equity and 
love. And what is more this question will more 
and more engage the thought of men within the 
Church, and no institution however venerable or great 
that cannot teach men how to meet and to solve this 
question will receive a patient hearing at the hands of 
men. And the whole work of social reconstruction is 
the task now laid before us in the providences of God 
and the exigency of progress. The work of building up 
in the earth a Christian society is the work to which 
the Christian discipleship is fairly and squarely com- 
mitted. "We cannot excuse ourselves any longer for 
failing to give ourselves to this work by saying that all 
the efforts of men in these directions have been failures. 
Granted that the men who have tried to build Utopias 
by their own wisdom and strength and out of the poor 
material of earthy and sinful men have failed ; then 
there is all the more reason why the men who have the 
vision of the Holy City coming down out of heaven 
should set about the work of building that city out of 
the stones of renewed lives. 

In the most real sense the validity and value of 
Christianity are at stake in this work of social redemp- 
tion. In these times the doctrines of Socialism have 
arisen to trouble those who are at ease in Zion, fatally 
at ease, many of them. It is needless here to consider 
these doctrines in detail ; but Socialism is a movement 
to be reckoned with in the days to come. It is need- 
less here to appraise Socialism, and to point out its de- 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 197 

fects or to emphasize its merits. This may be said, 
however, that some of the most conservative students of 
social life admit that there are great wrongs in our 
modern social life and that the presence of these 
wrongs gives Socialism its vitality. And it may be 
said also that many conservative students concede that 
the socialistic indictment of modern social conditions is 
fuUy justified in every one of its counts. We may 
grant that the program of Socialism is a meagre and 
materialistic program and that it ignores the best parts 
of man's being. We may grant further that in the 
doctrines of Socialism there is no power of God and no 
spiritual dynamic that can move the world and can 
charm away the selfishness of men. 

But if this is true there is all the more reason why 
the Christian disciples with their program of the king- 
dom should set to work hopefully about this task of 
social renewal. There is a double urgency upon those 
who know the power of God and believe in the might 
of the Spirit to prove the power of the Gospel in social 
redemption. The doctrines of Socialism are spreading 
like wild-fire to-day, and Socialism to millions of men 
has become a new religion. We may denounce Social- 
ism ; we may expose its fallacies and may warn men 
against it ; we may show that it is secretly hostile or 
openly opposed to the churches and is even working at 
cross purposes with Christianity in many things ; but all 
these eiforts will avail nothing ; nay, Socialism will 
rather spread because of this opposition and the churches 
will only array the mass of the people more solidly 
against them. Unless the churches can show a faith and 
love that are more potent and practical than Social- 
ism ; unless they can prove that they are more inter- 



198 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

ested in the whole life of man than the socialistic 
propaganda ; unless those who profess and call them- 
selves Christians can sacrifice for their faith far beyond 
the socialistic leaders, the doctrines of Socialism will 
spread, the people will turn away from the churches 
and Christianity will wane and languish. The only 
religion that can answer Socialism is a religion that 
goes far beyond Socialism in its interest in man, in its 
passion for righteousness, in its zeal for the kingdom. 
Such a religion as this wiU stop the mouths of gain- 
sayers, convince the heart of the world, demonstrate 
that it is of God and become the power of God unto 
the salvation of society. 

4. From another point of view the validity and 
value of Christianity are at stake in this work of social 
salvation. In these latter days we are witnessing one 
of the greatest movements of aU the ages. The corners 
of the earth are connected ; nation touches nation ; the 
world has become one neighbourhood. The old forms 
of national exclusiveness are gone; the religion and 
customs of one people are coming into contact with 
those of aU other peoples; this contact means com- 
parison, and comparison brings competition. To-day 
the world is witnessing the most momentous movement 
of all the ages : It is the break-up of the ethnic relig- 
ions and the search of men for a new religion. The 
debate of the world-religions is on, and Christianity 
cannot keep out of the controversy. How shall the 
nations judge of these religions ? What is to be the 
single and final test ? They will judge these religions 
by their results. The test of fruits will determine the 
award. 

How win Christianity stand this test ? Suppose the 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 199 

peoples of the Orient, looking for a religion, should 
judge of Christianity by the cities of Christendom? 
Suppose they should measure the power and value 
of Christianity by the moral and social conditions of 
London and Paris, Hamburg and New York, Chicago 
and San Francisco? Suppose further that the thou- 
sands of men coming from the East to trade and live 
in these cities should be repelled by the conditions they 
see and should judge of Christianity by these cities ? 
Are the men from Japan and China, India and Africa 
who live in London and Paris, New York and San 
Francisco, likely to become Christians and then go back 
to commend Christianity to their people? One 
trembles as he considers these things ; in the light of 
these questions one cannot suppress some ominous fore- 
bodings. The cities of Christendom are the heaviest 
handicap that modern Christianity has to bear. The 
people of India and Japan read the papers and maga- 
zines published in the Occident ; and they know what 
the East End of London means and they are familiar 
with the doings of Tammany Hall. " Are these cities 
the fruits of Christianity? If Christianity cannot 
make better cities at home, why should we consider 
it in India and Japan ? " Already the missionary has 
to meet these questions ; again and again the reproach 
is flung in his face. In view of this we may say that 
the most urgent work before the Christian discipleship 
is the work of cleansing and saving these cities. In 
view of this we see that the men who are fighting the 
beasts of graft and corruption in these cities are giving 
telling blows for the cause of world-wide missions. 
The men who are casting out of these cities the demons 
of drink and impurity are among the best helpers in 



200 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

the work of world-wide evangelism. In the most real 
sense the value and power and success of Christianity 
abroad depend upon the cleansing and betterment and 
salvation of these cities at home. 

II. The Keal Natuee of Cheistianitt 
1. For nineteen hundred years Jesus Christ has had 
a people in the world ; and in this time the Gospel has 
been preached in aU lands and millions have learned 
to bow in His name. Great creeds have been formu- 
lated and great theological treatises have been written. 
And yet the sad fact remains that the rank and file of 
the people the world over have not understood the life 
and thought of the one whom they call Master. Nay 
worse, many of the leaders of the churches have sadly 
misunderstood the Master and have misplaced the em- 
phasis of His teaching. Many people have supposed 
that religion has to do with heaven and the way to it ; 
at any rate it is concerned with vague, far-away, in- 
definite and spiritual things. Many have believed that 
religion is the special concern of special men ; at any 
rate it is the peculiar province of an institution called 
the Church. Many others have imagined that religion 
at best is a mystical and mysterious thing, good enough 
in its way and place, but after all as something im- 
practicable and unworkable in this real matter-of-fact 
world. Perhaps the most dismal fact of history is the 
failure of the great organized bodies of ecclesiasticism 
to understand the simple genius of Christ's religion. 
Whatever the best in the churches of the time may 
have thought of the life and religion of Christ, taken 
as a whole, they have succeeded in leaving upon the 
mind of a large portion of the world an impression of 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 201 

Christianity which is the direct opposite of the reality. 
" Down to the present hour, ahnost whole nations in 
Europe live, and worship and die under the belief that 
Christ is an ecclesiastical Christ, religion the sum of 
the churches' observances, and faith an adhesion to 
the churches' creeds. . . . Everything that the 
spiritual and temporal authority of man could do has 
been done — done in ignorance of the true nature of 
Christianity — to dislodge the religion of Christ from 
its natural home in the heart of humanity. In many 
lands the churches have literally stolen Christ from the 
people ; they have made the Son of Man the Priest of 
an Order ; they have taken Christianity from the city 
and imprisoned it behind altar rails ; they have with- 
drawn it from the national life and doled it out to the 
few who pay to keep up the unconscious deception." ' 
This is a severe indictment, but every word of it is 
abundantly justified by the facts of history. Thus 
from one cause and another Christianity has been 
hidden from the people and the great purpose of Christ 
has been obscured. 

2. ""What we especially need at this time," says 
Professor Sanday, " is freshness, a real getting at the 
heart of the matter instead of dallying with the out- 
side." This is true, only too true. Beyond every 
other need of to-day is reality, a getting at the heart 
and centre of Christianity instead of dallying with its 
accidents and accompaniments. The fact is many of 
the things which have bulked large in the thought of 
men were of no interest whatever to Jesus of Nazareth. 
Times and places, forms and ceremonials, doctrinal 
creeds and church orders — the things upon which men 
• Drammond, " The City Without a Church," pp. 40, 41. 



202 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

have thrown the emphasis for eighteen hundred years 
— meant little or nothing to Him. "With Him always 
and everywhere the emphasis falls upon loyal hearts 
and loving lives, helpful deeds and brotherly service. 
In His day He had little interest in the Temple and its 
ceremonials ; He did not observe the forms and tradi- 
tions of religion ; and what is more He encouraged His 
disciples to make light of them. He left the scribes 
and lawyers to their traditions and doctrines and went 
out after the lost sheep of the Father's flock. He was 
indifferent to such things as tithing mint and anise 
and cummin, but he threw the emphasis of His life 
upon the weightier matters of the law, as justice, mercy 
and truth. He was wholly indifferent to all questions 
concerning church officials and institutional religion, 
but He insisted with the stress of eternity upon social 
justice and true brotherhood. 

By a curious inversion of things the people of the 
churches have reversed this order and have placed first 
what Jesus set last, and have made last the things 
which Jesus put first. Three-fourths of the thought 
and time and effort of Christian people for eighteen 
centuries have been given to the very things which 
Jesus regarded but as the dust of the balance. Three- 
fourths of the things that most vitally concerned Jesus 
have been ignored by His people where they have not 
been actually despised. Does any one suppose that 
Jesus would have any interest in half the controversies 
of the churches over such questions as church officials, 
metaphysical creeds, alien baptism, forms of worship, 
methods of organization ? It is open to doubt whether 
Jesus would understand what these discussions were all 
about, even though they professed to be carried on in 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 203 

His honour. It is certain that He would turn in sorrow 
from many of these things and would lament that 
though He had been so long time with men yet they 
have not known Him. Ecclesiastioism has hidden the 
Christ. Institutional religion has mystified men. The 
things that Jesus died to destroy the churches bearing 
His name have exalted to the very throne. The things 
He died to establish the churches have largely ignored. 
These are hard sayings, but history more than justifies 
them. 

3. The chief interest of Jesus Christ was the king- 
dom of God. The whole stress of His life falls upon 
the weightier matters of the law, such as brotherhood 
and love, justice and mercy. He was interested in 
little children, and when He stood the child in the 
midst He showed the real centre of gravity. He pro- 
nounced His heaviest woes upon the men who placed 
stumbling-blocks in their fellow's way, and trampled 
upon the lives of others. He saw how womanhood was 
turned into merchandise and He did not hesitate to brand 
such infamy as under the curse of heaven. In the light 
of His life and teaching can any one doubt what would 
be the chief interest of Jesus Christ to-day ? He would 
be interested in little children, and no doubt He would 
fling in our faces the lost children of our cities who 
sicken and die in unsanitary tenements, or who wear 
out their little bodies in hard and bitter toil in our 
mills and factories. He would come out-of-doors 
where life is real and He would be found where men 
are most needy. He would take His place where 
vampires lie in wait for their human prey, and He 
would be found most often where women fight desper- 
ately for virtue. Where injustice is done there He 



204 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

would be found, to rebuke and warn. Where child- 
hood is wronged His whip of small cords would flash 
and sting. " There can be no doubt, . . . that if 
Jesus were with us to-day He would side with those 
who are making great efforts to relieve the hard lot of 
the poor and procure them better conditions of life." ' 
" That Christ in our day takes a much more Uvely in- 
terest in the development of our political circumstances 
and conditions than in our so-called church movements 
and current questions, I cannot for a moment doubt. 
He knows full well on what things really depend, and 
on what they do not." * 

The acceptance of this social task by the disciples of 
Christ will do much to reveal the essential nature of 
Christianity. It wiU give a tone of reality to our 
religion, something alas that is sadly lacking to-day. 
It will prove that religion is a reality and is concerned 
with real things. It wUl show men that Christianity 
is practical and is interested in everything that interests 
men. It will demonstrate that the Gospel has a mes- 
sage for men where they are. It will prove that 
Christianity can produce real fruits in this world where 
men live. It will show that Christianity is here to 
make a better world and to transfigure the dust of our 
humanity into the glory of God's kingdom. The best 
apologetic for Christianity to-day is a clear statement 
of its essential nature. 

III. The Newt Enthusiasm foe the Kingdom 
The acceptance of such a program and the prosecu- 
tion of such a task will bring new life into the churches 

' Harnaok, "What is Christianity? " p. 109. 
« Eothe, " Stille Stnnden," p. 274. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 205 

and will mean a revival of apostolic Christianity. It is 
easy to quote statistics showing that the membership 
of the churches is increasing ; and it is possible also to 
prove that contributions for beneficent causes are larger 
than ever before. But this does not tell the whole 
story ; in fact it does not touch the real heart of the 
question. Are Christian people showing a deep and 
strong enthusiasm in the work of the kingdom ? Do 
their hearts beat high with hope and do their feet beat 
time to the march of God's events ? Are they living 
and working as men and women might be expected to 
work who believe that they have found the best thing 
in the world ? 

1. It is said by careful observers that our modern 
Christianity lacks courage and enthusiasm ; it lacks in- 
tensity and passion ; and so it lacks vitality and power. 
Some time ago a man of large experience made a tour 
of the world visiting the mission stations and studying 
the results of missionary work. When he came home 
he passed this criticism upon the work as he had seen 
it ; and this criticism is all the more significant in that 
it is friendly. He stated that he had found many con- 
verts who had come out of darkness into the light, men 
and women who were living brave and devoted lives 
and were seeking to advance the kingdom of God. 
But he stated also that there seemed to be something 
lacking in the lives of these converts which troubled 
him. By and by it came home to him that these con- 
verts were not living as men and women might be ex- 
pected to live who believe that they have found the 
best thing in the world. I do not know how it may be 
with Christian converts in heathen lands ; but I know 
very well how it is with many of our people at home. 



206 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

They are not living and working as men and women 
might be expected to live and work who believe that 
they are members of the great kingdom of God and are 
partners in the divinest enterprise of the ages. In our 
churches there are many brave and devoted souls who 
are trying to be true to Christ and want to serve in 
their day and generation. But alas, many of these peo- 
ple have accepted things as they are and have settled 
down into a humdrum existence; their lives lack as- 
piration and enthusiasm ; they have no great consum- 
ing passion for righteousness and truth ; they are good 
enough in a way but their goodness is so ineffective 
and so commonplace. Everything in the average con- 
gregation is so regular and so orderly ; but it is also so 
sapless and jejune ; the churches are full of good men, 
but their goodness is not militant and aggressive ; it is 
not an asset in the life of their community and the 
power of the kingdom. 

It is evident that our Christianity needs something 
that shall put meaning into life and vision into the eye ; 
it needs something that shall stir men's blood and shall 
make their hearts beat high with hope. "We need some 
vision that shall set the hearts of men and women 
aflame with a new and holy enthusiasm ; we need some 
new crusader's hymn that shall set the feet of men and 
maidens marching towards to-morrow with a new glad 
faith. All around us are men and women, intelligent 
and earnest, capable of enthusiasm and fitted for great 
tasks ; but thus far they have not been enlisted in the 
work of the kingdom ; thus far they have not seen any 
task that warmed their hearts. " It is surely plain 
enough to everybody," Mark Eutherford writes in one of 
his books, " that there are thousands of men and women 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 207 

within a mile of us, apathetic and obscure, who, if an 
object worthy of them had been presented to them, 
would have shown themselves capable of enthusiasm 
and heroism. "Whole volumes of human energy are 
thus apparently annihilated." But alas, thus far the 
churches have not offered these men a man's job ; they 
have not mobilized these men and women for the king- 
dom. Some time ago a young woman, earnest and 
trained, went to her clergyman offering her services to 
the church. " His only suggestion was that I should 
be responsible every Sunday for fresh flowers upon the 
altar." Educated and earnest young men come into 
our churches, eager for service and anxious to serve in 
their generation ; and the only suggestion we can make 
is that they attend the prayer-meetings and take up the 
collection on Sunday. 

2. The first thing is for the churches to inspire men 
with the vision of the Holy City coming down from 
heaven to be set up on this earth. In aU times the 
poets and prophets of the world have sung and dreamed 
of a better and brighter world. They have sighed for 
the day when injustice shall cease, when childhood no 
longer shall be wronged and womanhood shall no 
longer be treated as merchandise. They have dreamed 
of the time when good will and peace shall fill the 
earth, when no labour shall be imrewarded and no life 
shall be unprivileged, when children shall be happy 
and parents shall be glad, when gray hairs shall be a 
crown of glory and not an economic handicap. And 
in all times the poor old world, thinking itself wise and 
practical, has laughed at such dreamers and has de- 
clared these dreams to be idle and impossible. And 
yet let the wise men mock as they will, we must dare 



208 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

to cherish these hopes and follow this vision. " To fill 
this little island with true friends," writes Euskin in 
his eloquent and pathetic way — " men brave and wise 
and happy ! Is it so impossible, think you, after the 
world's eighteen hundred years of Christianity, and our 
own thousand years of toil, to fill this little white 
gleaming crag with happy creatures helpful to each 
other? . . . Must we remain here also savage, 
here at enmity with each other, here f oodless, house- 
less, in rags, in dust, and without hope, as thousands 
and tens of thousands of us are lying ? " ' To make a 
better world, we must insist, is the task before us, to 
make a brighter world for children to be born into, a 
safer world for boys and girls to grow up in, a happier 
world for men to travel through, a more joyous world 
for depaxting saints to look back upon, this is the work 
that we must resolutely set before ourselves ; this is the 
task to which we must summon the men of good will 
in every community. 

To unite men in behalf of this task, to mobilize them 
into one army and send them forth to battle for the 
truth ; this is the work of the churches to-day. " Come, 
my brothers," the churches must say to men, " come let 
us join hands and interlock our hearts in behalf of a 
better and brighter world. Something can be done to 
make better and cleaner cities. "Will you, my brothers, 
accept this task and labour together to lay the streets 
and to build the walls of the new and Holy City ? " One 
great part of the churches' work is to keep the ideal of 
the kingdom before men, to hearten them with the 
hope of a better day, to keep the flame of devotion 
burning upon the altars of their hearts, to set their feet 
' " Crown of Wild Olives ; The Future of England," 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 209 

marching towards the future, to enlist them in the divine 
adventure of making the kingdoms of this world into 
the kingdom of God, and to marshal them as one host 
to go forth and fight the battles of the King. In so far 
as the churches can inspire men with this vision, and 
can unite them as one army in behalf of this enterprise, 
that far wiU men be interested in the churches and will 
believe that Christianity is of God. 

rV". The New Victobies for the Kiitgdom 
So far as the kingdom is concerned the acceptance of 
this task and the fulfillment of this program will mean 
new and mighty victories for the kingdom in the earth. 
The Gospel — Christians believe — is the power of God 
unto salvation, whether it be the salvation of persons or 
the salvation of society. That message comes to men 
as a message from the father to his children, telling of 
his love, convincing them of his interest, assuring them 
of his presence and guarding them by his power. That 
Gospel has as its central truth the Cross of Christ which 
has power to convince men of sin, and of righteousness 
and of judgment, to win men away from sin, to estab- 
lish them in righteousness, to lead them into the light, 
and to charm away their selfishness. That Gospel 
witnesses of the Holy Spirit who is with men to work 
in them, and to renew them in knowledge, to give them 
power for service and to make them spiritual beings. 
The Son of Man has come and has spoken the words of 
life ; the Cross has been erected and the Spirit has been 
given. The mighty agencies that make for the king- 
dom are now here, resident in our humanity and they 
will not be withdrawn. Divine and omnipotent powers 
are at work in the world ; the infinite God is infinitely 



210 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

at work at every moment of time in every part of His 
universe. Thus the workers in the kingdom are not 
weak ; they are not alone in their toil, for the whole 
power of God is pledged in behalf of the kingdom and 
its coming. They who follow the Lamb whithersoever 
He goes are not the broken fragments of a forlorn hope. 
The Gospel of the crucified Christ is the most potent 
force that has ever been released into human society. 

Something can be done ; much can be done, every- 
thing can be done that God wants done and we are 
willing in His name to do. Valleys can be fiUed, hiUs 
can be levelled, stumbling-blocks can be taken up out of 
the way, demons can be cast out of society, the works 
of the devil can be destroyed, saloons can be closed, red 
light districts can be abolished, slums can be cleansed, 
political treasons can be rebuked and covenants with 
death can be annulled, the law of competition can be 
renounced and the law of cooperation can be estab- 
lished, straight paths can be made for men's feet, better 
and more Christian cities can be built, the weak can be 
buttressed and made strong, the conditions of human 
life can be renewed morning, noon and night, the re- 
sources of society can be held in trust for all its 
members, a moral atmosphere can be created for the 
growing and developing lives, social customs can be 
Christianized, a strong presumption can be created in 
favour of purity and honesty and sincerity, we can 
make it easier for men to do right and harder for men 
to do wrong. We may not be able to do everything at 
once, but something can be done. There is a marked 
difference between the better and the worse, and we 
can leave the worse and strive for the better. And 
any effort which wiU improve by a hair's breadth the 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 211 

condition of a single human life is the translation into 
deed of some article of the Christian faith. Thus they 
who are seeking the kingdom of God and are building 
a Christian city know that they are working in line 
with the great purpose of God and realize that their 
labours are not in vain in the Lord. 

There is every reason why Christian people of all 
others should be interested and active in this work of 
social salvation. In every community there are many 
forms of social activity all seeking to abate some 
nuisance, to right some wrong, to better some section 
of the city and to ameliorate human conditions. Many 
of these men most active in these varied forms of effort 
are devoted members of the churches and faithful 
followers of Jesus Christ. But many of the men and 
women most active in these forms of social service 
confess no allegiance to Jesus Christ and have scant 
patience with the churches. This is not all, but as we 
have elsewhere noted, the doctrines of Socialism are 
spreading like wild-fire, and to millions of people So- 
cialism has become a religion that fiUs their hearts with 
an unbounded enthusiasm. In this time many men — 
some of them the best and truest people in our 
churches — find a grave danger in these various schemes. 
They aU propose to regenerate the world, we are told, 
without first regenerating men. They hope to build a 
golden society out of leaden men. These programs 
are very defective, we are assured ; they are materialis- 
tic and narrow ; and above all they lack a mighty 
religious impulse that can lift men out of themselves 
and send them out to spend and to be spent, in the 
service of righteousness and reform. 

In view of all this there is a double reason why Chris- 



212 THE SOCIAL TASK OP CHRISTIANITY 

tian men with their larger ideal of the kingdom and 
with their motive of the love of Christ should take a 
double interest in aU forms of social service. Granted 
that many of these forms of social effort lack a high 
ideal and are without the religious motive; there is 
thus an added reason why Christian men should hold 
up the ideal of Christ and should seek to infuse the re- 
ligious spirit into efforts for social amelioration. 
Granted also that many of these efforts for social bet- 
terment are misdirected and really accomplish little 
lasting good ; then this is a second reason why Chris- 
tian men who confess that social wrongs abound and 
social conditions need changing, should show men the 
true direction of progress and should lead in the cam- 
paign for social betterment. Granted further that So- 
cialism as a program is somewhat materialistic and 
ignores great realms of human life ; then this is a third 
reason why Christian men with their larger program 
and their higher motive should out-serve the Socialists 
in their efforts to promote human welfare. The race is 
coming to social self-consciousness ; social questions are 
up for a hearing ; men are becoming concerned with 
the question of social progress ; the problem how we 
shall bring greater happiness and larger opportunity to 
all men is in a sense the social problem itself. Men 
are becoming interested in these questions, and they 
will discount both the intelligence and the religion of 
any man or any church that does not have an interest 
in these things. Men want light upon these problems, 
£l,nd they will have little patience with any institution, 
however venerable, that cannot give a sane and cour- 
ageous leadership. " The Church by its neglect of the 
social problem has lost much of its position as a leader 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 213 

and guide of humanity. It will only regain it by rec- 
ognizing this question, and the solution of it, as a part 
of its evangel, as having their roots finally in the same 
spiritual principles as those which govern its formal 
theology." ' It will be a sad day for the Church and 
the world when Christian men allow themselves to be 
out-humaned by the humanitarians. It will bring a 
standing reproach against the name of Christ if Chris- 
tian men commit to outsiders — to unbelievers and ag- 
nostics often — the agitation of social wrongs and the 
struggle for social righteousness. It will be a great 
day for the Church and the world when Christian men 
frankly and f uUy accept this social task and resolutely 
set about its accomplishment. It will do more than a 
whole library of apologetics to reveal the essential na- 
ture of Christianity and to hold the allegiance of all 
men of good wUl. The frank acceptance of this social 
task by the churches will furnish the new credentials 
that are needed to-day ; it will enable men to discern 
the essential nature of Christianity and the real mean- 
ing of the Christian's commission ; it will cause young 
men to see visions and old men to dream dreams ; and 
it win result in new and splendid victories for the king- 
dom. 

In summary of aU that has been said, three things 
may be noted : 

1. The final apologetic for Christianity must be the 
apologetic of results. It is easy for one to exaggerate 
certain aspects of the present crisis confronting the 
churches, but it is dangerous to underrate the seriousness 
of the present situation. " It is now universally admit- 
ted," says Professor Eucken, " that the modern world, 
> Brierley, " Our City of God," p. 4, 



214 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

and the present time in particular, finds itself at many 
points in contradiction with Christianity ; but the true ex- 
tent of the opposition and the uncompromising character 
of the attack are still very far from being universally 
understood." ' The assault to-day is not concerned with 
any special doctrines of Christianity, but with the very 
value of Christianity itself ; the question at issue is not 
the priority of one denomination over another or the 
superiority of one shade of Christianity over others, but 
the very existence of Christianity itself. " If we are to 
cope effectively with the situation it is imperative that we 
should reaMze how the matter truly stands. Once our 
eyes are opened we shall see that no minor defenses 
can save us ; we shall cease to expect decisive results 
from the adoption of sectarian programs, however 
conscientiously the schemes are carried out."^ How 
can we meet this crisis ? How can we demonstrate the 
value of Christianity ? There is one answer, only one, 
which touches the heart of the problem : " The only 
way to prove any claim of theology is to show its vital 
relation to the crises of life. No one was ever con- 
vinced of the truths of religion in any other way, nor 
has any one who has believed them from this side lost 
his faith by mere ratiocination. If such a one has lost 
his faith it is because its vital contact with his Mfe has 
ceased and the work of reason is, then, simply to show 
that what is left is dead." ' " The so-called logical proofs 
of inspiration never convince any one, because when 
such proofs are offered in evidence that inspiration is 
now taken as a fact out of connection with the actual 

^ " Christianity and the New Idealism," p. 113. 

» Ibid., p. 113. 

» King, " The Development ol Religion," p. 350. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 215 

unfolding of experience. It is well known that no 
argument for the inspiration of the Scriptures, for im- 
mortality, or for the divinity of Christ is convincing to 
any one who does not believe in them already as facts 
of immediate experience." ' In the final count the 
valuations of Christianity in the minds of men will de- 
pend wholly upon its power to meet the present needs 
of the world. The world to-day cares little or nothing 
for our arguments and evidences based on prophecy 
and miracles ; the world has no interest whatever in 
our discussions of apostolic succession and church 
orders. The occupant of St. Peter's chair may issue his 
encyclicals, and church bodies may deplore the preva- 
lence of modern inquiry ; but such things simply pro- 
voke Olympian laughter and add to the weariness of 
the world. But the world cares everything for a truth 
that functions and has social potency ; the world listens 
to a Gospel that dissolves doubts and has dynamic re- 
lation to present problems ; the world is intensely in- 
terested in any institution that has real efficiency and 
produces social results. 

The religion of Christ can brook no rival, and it must 
be supreme or it is nothing. The Christian ideal must 
be the dominant and dominating ideal over aU life, or it 
is no ideal at aU. In what way, the world wants to 
know, can Christianity demonstrate its right to the 
throne of supremacy ? How can the Christian ideal 
gaia and hold the sceptre of authority ? There is only 
one way by which it can take and hold this sovereignty : 
It must become the dynamic and motive of the new 
social salvation. It must become the commanding 
synthesis which is able to marshal men in one army and 
' King, "The Development of Beligion," p. 351. 



216 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

send them forth to build on earth the city of God. 
That is, it can only win the passionate enthusiasm of 
the people as it unifies life and becomes the power of 
God unto social salvation. We do not need a new relig- 
ion ; we need not ponder in our hearts whether Chris- 
tianity is the religion the world needs or not. But we 
do need to recognize the essential nature of Christianity 
and to give the Gospel an opportunity to do its mighti- 
est works. We do need to bring the essential and un- 
waning powers of the Gospel into vital relation to the 
real life of to-day. " It is not our duty to fight for a 
new religion ; we have but to kindle into freshness of 
life the fathomless depths of Christianity. In so far as 
we succeed in doing this, we can completely satisfy the 
requirements of the new situation." ' I shall be told 
that Christianity has no vocation to transform the 
world, and the Scriptures nowhere promise that it shall 
do so. It is impossible here to discuss this question, 
and after what has been said in this study it is needless 
for me to attempt it. This is certain, however, that the 
Christian ideal is that of the kingdom of God on earth, 
a Holy City coming down from God among men. This 
is certain also, beyond peradventure, that the social 
question is here, and Christianity must either put us in 
the way of its solution or it must confess failure. This 
is certain, further, that we need some unifying and com- 
manding ideal which shall put meaning into the whole 
of life and dominate all the activities of society. They 
who would have us believe that Christianity has no 
vocation to save society are making it very hard for 
men to have any interest in Christianity. We do not 
ask that any religion shall present ready-made formulas, 
1 Euckeo, " Cbristioiiity and the New Idealiam," pp. 148, 149. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 217 

complete once for all, which shall solve every question 
before it is raised. At any rate we have no such 
formulas in Christianity and we need not look for them 
there. All that we do ask of any religion is that it 
shall meet the needs of men as they arise and solve their 
problems as they emerge. In so far as Christianity can 
succeed in these things to-day, that far it will com- 
pletely satisfy the requirements of the present situation. 
In so far as Christian men furnish the opportunity for 
Christianity to achieve its largest results will they offer 
the final evidences of Christianity to their day and gen- 
eration. 

2. The final test of goodness is social serviceableness. 
According to the Gospels and the Acts the earliest 
Gospel, the Gospel which Jesus preached and Paul pro- 
claimed, was the Gospel of the kingdom.' The kingdom 
of God, we have seen, in an earlier chapter, was a great, 
human, social, all-inclusive ideal covering the whole life 
of man and contemplating a new society on earth. For 
a generation this was the Gospel that men preached and 
believed ; and in that time wonderful advances were 
made. But in the later New Testament writings we 
find that a change is coming over the thought of men ; 
the emphasis is slowly shifting from the idea of the 
kingdom to the idea of the Church ; the idea of the 
kingdom more and more faUs into the background while 
the idea of the Church moves into the foreground. Two 
processes go on side by side, though in a sense the two 
are one. In the one process, by imperceptible degrees, 
there grows up an institution called the Church, made 
up of believers and having a life and order of its own. 
It was inevitable that such a result should appear, and 

> Mark i. 14 ; Aote i. 3 ; xx. 25 ; xxviii. 23. 



218 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

perhaps it was necessary. It was necessary that the 
Church should be and that it should differentiate itself 
from all other institutions. It was inevitable that an 
ever-widening gulf should appear between the Church 
and the world, for the Jewish people and the Roman 
government regarded Christians as sectaries and rebels. 
At any rate the time comes when Christians regard 
themselves as a people apart, " a third race " they were 
called ; the world was their enemy, how then could 
they love it ? Little by little, by imperceptible degrees 
and perhaps with little conscious purpose, a church in- 
stitution is formed with an organization, a life and order 
of its own. The time comes when religion is regarded 
as the special interest of the Church, and the Church is 
regarded as the special institute of religion. In the other 
process, at once as cause and effect of the process just 
named, there grows up a whoUy new conception of the 
Christian life. More and more it comes to be viewed 
as a thing apart from the common life, something that 
erects a barrier between the Christian and the world. 
By the middle of the second century we can mark the 
change that has come over the thought and life of men. 
In the Epistle to Diognetus we find that the Christian 
life has become a thing apart from the world ; now the 
Christian thinks of himself as a pilgrim and a stranger 
on earth ; " As citizens they share in aU things with 
others, and yet endure all things as foreigners. Every 
foreign land is to them as their native country, and 
every land of their birth as a land of strangers." * By 
the close of the fourth century the ascetic ideal was 
firmly established in the Church and accepted as 
the standard of the Christian life. Thus as a result 

> Chapter V. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 219 

of these two processes the Christian life comes to be re- 
garded as something apart from the world of men and 
things ; religion becomes the special interest of an 
ecclesiastical institution ; goodness is measured by one's 
detachedness from the world and its concerns ; Chris- 
tians are called to serve the world as they pass through 
it on their way to the Celestial City, but they have no 
vocation to transform the world ; to grow in grace one 
must insulate himself from the world as much as pos- 
sible, and to become perfect he must reduce the points 
of contact with the world to the very lowest minimum. 
In two ways the prevalence of these conceptions has 
misplaced the emphasis of the Christian life. For one 
thing the Christian life has become too self-centred, too 
subjective, too other-worldly, too much occupied with 
escape for oneself. This is shown in the conceptions of 
sainthood that have arisen in the Church and have 
determined the ideals of men. The traditional saint of 
the middle ages, " the saint that we see on the walls of 
every picture gaUery in Europe, the saint that stiU 
haunts the imagination of hundreds of thousands of 
devout men who regard the Eomish apostasy with 
horror," is a starved and emaciated figure, with thin 
pale face, the eyes red with tears or weary with watch- 
ing, with transparent hands and wasted form.' The 
world to-day, Protestant no less than Catholic, is still 
mastered by the spell of the ancient tradition. We do 
not think of a man as a saint unless he is quiet and 
ascetic, with a subdued air and a far-away look in his 
eyes, and we have a little more confidence in his good- 
ness if he is somewhat melancholy. We do not think 
of a man as a saint at all if he has red rich blood and 

■ Dale, " Laws of Christ (or Commou Life," p. 285. 



220 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

a hearty laugh, or if he takes much interest in children 
— and politics. According to the Master addition 
not subtraction is the arithmetic of the kingdom. But 
according to the traditional conception of sainthood 
subtraction not addition is the arithmetic of the Chris- 
tian life. 

The conception of the means and methods of spiritual 
development has been almost whoUy subjective and 
self-regarding. It would be interesting and profitable 
to study the various rules prescribed for the guidance 
of the spiritual life and the promotion of Christian 
devotion. All through the middle ages devout and 
earnest men and women sought to grow in grace and 
to cultivate their spiritual life by withdrawing from 
the world and spending their days and nights in prayer 
and fasting, in vigils and meditation. Every day there 
came the same round of spiritual exercises, " repeating 
the Psalms at Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones and 
Compline, as ^ell as Matins and Yespers ; " each day 
witnessed the same incessant stream of words and the 
same round of prayers. In their efforts to grow in 
grace and attain spiritual power some souls deliberately 
broke aU the ties of life and retired to the lonely cell 
to spend the remainder of life in religious devotion. 
Others climbed a taU pillar sixty feet high, living on its 
narrow top for many years in summer and winter, and 
bowing themselves to their feet twelve hundred times 
every day. " What good to God or man ? " asks 
Brierley. " How weary heaven must be, if earth is not, 
of this everlasting repetition." ' It is true that in 
these manuals of devotion a large place is given to 
charity and service ; and every day there came to many 

I " The Common Life," p, 153. 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 221 

of these saints the same round of services, feeding the 
hungry, nursing the sick, sometimes kissing the 
beggar's sores and giving one's coat to clothe the 
destitute. But we must not overlook the fact that 
much of this service was given not primarily for the 
good of the needy but to add to one's spiritual credit. 
There was no study of causes and no attempt to change 
social conditions. There is something beautiful in all 
this devotion and charity, as every one must admit. 
But after all what has come of it so far as the world is 
concerned ? Suppose that a tithe of the devotion and 
effort that have gone into these spiritual exercises had 
gone into the work of teaching the ignorant, removing 
the causes of poverty, improving social conditions and 
building better cities? In that case no nation of 
Europe after eighteen centuries of Christianity would 
be compelled to report ninety-five per cent, of its peo- 
ple illiterate ; and in that case the world might be at 
least a thousand years nearer the Golden Age. 

In the Christian centuries these conceptions have 
undergone many changes and modifications in both 
the Catholic and Protestant divisions of Christendom. 
But though changed and modified in many ways they 
yet continue to influence the thought and life of the 
Christian world. These conceptions are reflected in the 
various conceptions of saintliness and spirituality which 
prevail in the churches of to-day. And these concep- 
tions are woven into the very warp and woof of the 
devotional literature of the Church. The spiritual life, 
in the general conception of things, appears as some- 
thing apart from the ordinary human experiences of 
men ; it must be cultivated in isolation and seclusion ; 
to maintain a devout and spiritual and Christian frame 



222 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

of mind one must have just as little as possible to do 
with the social and political interests of one's time and 
place ; at any rate interest in these things and efforts 
for their improvement, though necessary enough on the 
part of unspiritual and worldly men, are incompatible 
with a devout frame of mind and a spiritual temper of 
life. In support of this view it may be said that many 
of the people most honoured for their devout temper 
and saintly life have taken little interest in the social 
and political movements of their day and place. And 
it must be confessed also that many of the men one has 
known who are active and efBcient in the work of in- 
dustrial betterment and civic reform have lacked a cer- 
tain spiritual unction and devoutness of temper. This 
means that a crLsis has come in the religious life of 
many people ; and this demands a new conception of 
Christian goodness. 

The return to the earliest Gospel on the part of the 
Church and the restoration of the idea of the kingdom 
of God to its central place in the Christian life is the 
one thing that can bring men safely through this crisis. 
According to this conception the kingdom of God is 
as wide as the world and includes all the realms and 
relations of man's being. The search for the kingdom 
is the search after freedom, and justice and brother- 
hood in all the realms and relations of society. The 
measure of one's goodness is the degree of his social 
serviceableness. The man who is seeking holiness for 
his own sake is on the wrong track. The measure of 
one's sanctity is the degree of his social efficiency. 
That is, the Christian life to-day must be lived in the 
very thick of life's interests and struggles. The spirit- 
ual Hfe must temper and tone the relations amid which 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 223 

one moves from day to day. The saintly virtues must 
be won and developed in the masterful interests of 
one's social and political life. It has been compara- 
tively easy for men to be devout and to grow spiritual 
detached from the world in pious exclusion. It may 
not be so easy for men to grow in grace and maintain 
a spiritual temper while interested in social reform and 
fighting for civic justice. The Christian spirit has 
proved its ability to develop the highest type of Chris- 
tian character and saintly life in the ascetic's ceU and 
the church enclosure. Can it now prove its ability to 
create the highest type of social goodness in the work 
of social service and civic betterment ? The time may 
have been when religion could be content to cultivate 
a narrow sphere and leave the wider world untouched. 
The time has been when the social reformer was con- 
tent to prosecute his task with no reference to religion 
and unaffected by the Christian ideal. But the time 
has gone by forever when such an attitude is longer 
tenable or Christian. To-day men who would be Chris- 
tian saints must live their deepest and highest life ia 
the work of social service. To-day the world of social 
service must become Christian through and through. 
This defines one of the most momentous crises con- 
fronting the Christian life to-day. And this suggests 
the most splendid opportunity that has ever come to 
men to illustrate the real nature and power of Chris- 
tianity. The time has been when the measure of one's 
saintly attainments was the measure of one's spiritual 
detachedness. The time is coming when the final test 
of one's Christian goodness vdll be the measure of his 
social serviceableness. 
3. The essential Gospel is the Gospel of the king- 



224 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

dom of God on earth. " The kingdom of God is at 
hand." Surely the time has come for all who call 
themselves Christians to believe this evangel and to 
make it a reaUty. In the United States there are over 
thirty-four million church-members — over thirty-five 
per cent, of the population — all professing faith in 
Jesus Christ and all praying for the coming of God's 
kingdom. Suppose these people were united in their 
efforts to abolish some of the great wrongs of the 
world, such as child labour, the liquor trafiic, 
poverty, the white slave trafiic and the red light 
district, city slums, the desecration of the rest day, 
municipal corruption and corporate oppression ? Sup- 
pose they should join hands in their efforts to secure 
justice for all, to provide playgrounds for children, to 
save boys and girls from a life of vice, to widen the 
door of opportunity for all, to build more sanitary 
cities, to give every life a true inheritance in society, 
to devise some system of labour copartnership and 
profit sharing, to make straight paths in the social life 
for men's feet, and to create a better and more moral 
atmosphere for all? How long would it be before 
these wrongs would be abolished and these ends 
secured ? Surely the time has come for the people 
who pray for the kingdom of God to unite in making 
that kingdom a fact. Suppose it were understood 
that it is the function of Christianity to unite men into 
one great fellowship of love and brotherhood and 
service, and then to mobilize them as one army for a 
campaign for the kingdom ? Suppose Christian men 
realized that their supreme business is to organize and 
create a just, fraternal, happy. Christian state on earth ? 
How long would it be before the streets of the New 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 225 

City would be laid and the walls of the Holy City 
would begin to appear ? Surely, the time has come 
for the men who call Jesus Master to appraise anew 
the essential principles of the Gospel and to remember 
that Christianity is not the revealed art of escape from 
this world to some far-away heaven, but that it is 
rather the divine method of bringing heaven down to 
earth that it may be realized among men. Suppose 
they realized that Christianity is an incarnation, the 
divine dwelling in the human that it may transform 
it, the transfiguration of the dust of our humanity into 
the glory of the divine. How long would it be before 
earth would put her beauteous garments on and the 
streets of the city would be full of happy children 
singing : 

Hosanna, Blessed is He that cometh in the name 

of the Lord. 
Blessed is the kingdom that cometh, the kingdom 

of our Father David. 

Hosanna in the highest. 

I am not blind to the consequences that may follow the 
preaching of the whole Gospel of the kingdom and the 
determined effort to make that Gospel a fact in the 
life of the world. The preachers of that Gospel may 
awaken the suspicion of men within the churches and 
perhaps the hatred of men without the churches. The 
workers in the kingdom may be regarded as dreamers 
of dreams where they are not treated as disturbers of 
the peace. It may be that such preaching and service 
will bring upon men the scorn of the smug and self- 
satisfied religionists of the churches; it may bring 
upon men the hatred of the unjust and powerful, who 



226 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

oppress the widows by starvation wages and grind the 
faces of the poor by monopoly prices ; it may cost 
them the favour of those who grow fat on the toil of 
children, who make long prayers but practice the 
world's ethics ; it may mean that a testing time will 
come to some of the churches and many prophets may 
find themselves homeless. But if men hesitate on this 
account they will lose their power for service ; nay, 
they are already lost. Already a brilliant and dis- 
cerning Socialist has said : " It is the uncrucified Chris- 
tianity that speaks from the modern pulpit and sits in 
the church pews that is driving the passion for hu- 
manity into other channels than the Church." "Will 
the people calling themselves Christian believe the 
Gospel and fulfill their commission ? Will they accept 
the leadership of the social faith and mobilize men for 
the King's campaign ? Can they show that their faith 
in Christ is a bond of union and a principle of action ? 
Will they out-human the humanitarians and outserve 
the Socialists in their interest in man and their passion 
for justice? If so, they will have no difiiculty in 
proving that Christianity is of God and that Jesus 
Christ is the King of the world. If not they will dis- 
count every article of their Christian faith and will make 
it very hard for the world to have any interest in 
Christianity. 

The idea of the kingdom of God— the divine goal of 
the world and the supreme good of man — is both a 
protest and a confession. It is a protest against every- 
thing in the present social order that is unjust and un- 
brotherly, that is contrary to the will of God and is 
hurtful to man. It is a confession of faith in the 
divine order which God wills and wants established in 



THE CRISIS AND THE OPPORTUNITY 227 

the earth ; it is the faith that the kingdoms of this 
world shall become the kingdom of Gpd. Christianity is 
not here to make men satisfied with things as they are ; 
it is here rather to make men dissatisfied with evil and 
to inspire them to arise and make things as they ought 
to be. Christianity is not here to show men how to 
escape from the city of destruction and get away to the 
Celestial City ; it is here rather to inspire men to 
labour and serve to transform the city of destruction 
into a City of God. The time has been when men 
thought of Christianity as " an ecstasy for the emo- 
tionalist, a walking dream for the abstractionist," some- 
thing having to do with saved souls in some other 
world, but as unrelated to saved lives here, something 
given to prepare men for heaven in some other sphere, 
but not designed to bring heaven down to earth that it 
may be realized among men, above all as something 
that primarily and chiefly concerns preachers and 
churches and Sundays but has little relation to common 
men, to civic affairs on week-days. The time has come 
for men to accept the Master's ideal of the kingdom of 
God, to follow a large and comprehensive program, to 
makeyesusChrist a fact not alone for the cloister and 
the prayer-meeting but in the actual and universal life 
of the world, and to build on earth a city that shaU be 
the realization of the Holy City. If there is an obliga- 
tion upon men to hold Christian principles, there is an 
equal obligation upon them to make those principles 
prevail. If it is a Christian's duty to cherish the ideal 
of a Christian social order it is no less his Christian duty 
to build a Christian social order. If it is right and 
proper for men to pray that God's kingdom may come and 
His will may be done on earth as in heaven, it is no less 



228 THE SOCIAL TASK OF CHRISTIANITY 

right and proper for them to seek to have His will done 
and His kingdom built here and now. The Christian is 
hence bound by his very contract to agitate and serve 
and strive till every wrong is abolished, till righteous- 
ness is enthroned in human society in all its relations, 
till justice has become the daily practice of society in 
all its customs and institutions, till every human being 
has room enough for the f uU expression of his powers, 
till the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom 
of God, and the Holy City of the seer's vision has be- 
come the reality of earth — 

Till upon earth's grateful sod, 
Bests the City of our God. 



BIBLIOQRA.PHY 
Eansohenbnaoh : " Christianity and the Social Crisis." 
Crooker : " The Church of To-day." 
Gladden : "The Church and Modern Life." 
Peabody : " Jesus Christ and the Social Question." 
Euoken : " Christianity and the New Idealism." 
Spargo : " The Spiritual Significance of Modern Socialism." 



Appendix 

THE SOCIAL SEEVIGE PEOGEAM 

Many things indicate that the ohnrches are beginning to realize 
their obligations to sooiety and are serionsly seeking to lead the social 
faith. The Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, rep- 
resenting thirty-five religious bodies and about twenty million mem- 
bers, has created a Social Service Commission charged with the duty ' ' to 
study social condition, to afiord by its action and utterance an expres- 
sion of the purpose of the churches of Christ in the United States, to 
recognize the import of present social movements and industrial con- 
ditions, and to cooperate in all practicable ways to promote in the 
churches the development of the spirit and practice of social service." 
This commission has issued a statement outlining some of the things 
for which the churches should stand. This platform and program has 
been accepted and ratified by a number of religious bodies in the 
country, as the Northern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian As- 
semblyi the Methodist Federation for Social Service and the Congrega- 
tional Council. 

The Chiiech and Modern Industry 

For equal rights and complete justice for all men in allstations of life. 

For the right of all men to the opportunity of self-maintenance,a right 
ever to be wisely and strongly safeguarded against enoroachmenta 
of every kind. 

For the right of the workers to some protection against the hardships 
often resulting from the swift crises of industrial change. 

For the principle of conciliation and arbitration in industrial dissen- 
sions. 

For the protection of the worker from dangerous machinery, occupa- 
tional disease, injuries and mortality. 

For the abolition of child labour. 

For such regulation of the conditions of toil for women as shall safe- 
guard the physical and moral health of the community. 

For the gradual and reasonable reduction of the hours of labour to the 
lowest practicable point, and for that degree of leisure for all 
which is a condition of the highest human life. 
229 



230 APPENDIX 

For a release from employment one day in seven. 

For the suppression ot the " sweating system." 

For a living vfage as a minimum in every industry and for the highest 
wage that each industry afEords. 

For the most equitable division of the products of industry that can 
ultimately be devised. 

For suitable provision for the old age of workers and for those inca- 
pacitated by injury. 

For the abatement of poverty. 
In addition the Social Service Commission of the Northern Baptist 

Convention issues a program for the Family and the Civic Community, 

The Chuech and the Family 

For home training for social living. 

For the single standard of purity. 

For the teaching of sex hygiene. 

For uniform divorce legislation and for stricter regulations of matri- 
mony. 

For sanitary homes and tenements and systematic inspection. 

For the abolition of overcrowding and the guaranteee of sufficient 
room for health and decency. 

For the preservation of the home against industrial invasion. 

The Chuegh and the Community 

For the suppression of vile shows, unclean literature and unfit posters. 

For the abolition of the liquor traffic, opium, cocaine and other habit- 
forming drugs. 

For the suppression of the red light district, the white slave traffic 
and sex diseases. 

For the suppression of gambling in all its forms. 

For the cleansing and prevention of oity slums. 

For the administration of justice with a saving purpose. 

For playgrounds and oity parks accessible to the people, 

For more rational and moral forms of amusement. 

For an investigation of civic conditions and for a civic plan. 

For civil service methods in all civic offices. 

For the active participation of men of good will in civio affairs. 



Index 



Age, its problems defined, 33 
Aristotle, man a political being, 80 
Arnold, Thomas, on reform and 

Christianity, 175 
Apocalypse, quoted in victory of 

Christ, 97 
Apologetic of results is final, 213 
Atmosphere, its influence upon life, 

164 
Augustine, on the City of God, 66 
Axioms of reform stated, 162 

Bascom, on renewing opportuni- 
ties, 149 
Batten, "The Redemption of the 
Unfit," 63; "The Christian 
State," 150; "The Church as 
the Maker of Conscience," 132 
Beecher, Lyman, on perseverance 

of saints, 166 
Bible, to be taught the people, 190 
Booth, on life in London, 43 
Brace, " Gesta Christi," 32 
Brierley, defines social problem, 
38 ; describes useless religion, 
220; on contentment with the 
world, 176; on crisis of the 
Church, 184 
Brooks, " The Social Unrest," 32 
Brotherhood of the Kingdom, 10 
Bruce, " The Kingdom of God," 
83 ; says many Christians outside 
churches, 186 
Bryce, describes church morality, 

26 
Bryden, on conditions in Africa, 25 
Burbank, on training the child, 170 
Bushnell, on cosmic effects of sin, 
S6 

Calvin, his aim at Geneva, 120 
Campbell, " Christianity and the 
Social Order," 83 



Capital, by Marx quoted, 136 

Carlyle, on unity of universe, 48 

Causes, must be considered, 155 

Children, playgrounds for in city, 
148 

Christendom, hinders mission work, 
198 ; the Christianization of, 8 ; 
present condition, 22 

Christian men, have social duty, 
130 ; to build Christian society, 
74; to lead in reform, 211 

Christian spirit, created the Chris- 
tian family, 17 ; created the 
Church, 18 ; created the mis- 
sionary enterprise, 20 

Christian social order, to be built, 
118 

Christianity, is ever new, 13 ; its 
achievements, 16 ; its real nature 
revealed, 200 ; new task defined, 
82; not finished its work, 31; 
on trial to-day, 195 ; present 
crisis of, 7, 184 ; to be tested by 
fruits, 193 ; to inspire social ac- 
tion, 180 

Christianization of Christendom, 8 

Church, an agency of the kingdom, 
1 10 ; created by Christian spirit, 
18 ; compared with the kingdom, 
66 ; does not include all life, 80 ; 
is not only institution of religion, 
115; not seeking whole king- 
dom, 113; religion outside, 28; 
without a parish, 160 

Churches, in best parts of the city, 
160; must show their fruits, 191 ; 
to create an active conscience, 
125 

Cities, are they improving ? 156 ; 
conditions of modern, 24 ; re- 
proach of Christianity, 199 

City, the Holy City on earth, 58 ; 
Christians no vision of, 90 



231 



232 



INDEX 



Clarke, William, quoted, 60 
Coleridge, on inspiration of Scrip- 
tures, 189 
Conditions of human life, 143 
Conscious effort to build Christian 

society, 118 
Cooley, influence of group life, 169 
Credentials of Christianity today, 

188 
Crime, has social causes, 61 
Crisis, Christianity facing to-day, 7 
Cromwell, his motto, 17 
Crooker, on crisis of Church, 184 

Dale, on mediaeval saints, 219 
Dealey, on waste in reform, 91 ; 

" Sociology," 132 
DeLaveleye, on best human order, 6 
Demons, to be cast out, 96 
Dewey, moral value of things, 167 
Diognetus, on early Christians, 218 
Drumraond, churches have stolen 

Christ, 201 
DuBois, " The Natural Way," 183 

Economic basis of spiritual life, 

•34 
Emerson, on heroic world, 170 
Enthusiasm needed today, 188 
Environment influences man, 52, 

166 
Ephesians, quoted, on the body, 81 
Eternal life, how understood, 66 
Evidences of Christianity to-day, 

Eucken, on present crisis, 29, 214 ; 
kindling Christianity afresh, 216 

Factors of human life, four, 133 
Fairbairn, on purpose of Chris- 
tianity, 71 
Family, the Christian type, 17 ; to 

be Christianized, 109 
Farrar, describes Roman society, 16 
Ferri, declares criminals defective, 

144 
Fichte, on organizing power of 

Christianity, 181 
Fremantle, " The World as the 

Subject of Redemption," 83 
Fruits, the final test of religion, 193 



Gladden, « The Church and Mod- 
ern Life," 83 

God, the living God, 14; the 
kingdom of God on earth, 68; 
speaking to-day, 176 

Gospel, its own evidence, 187 ; is 
Gospel of the kingdom, 225 ; 
return to the earliest, 222 

Grace of God, is it limited ? 51 

Hall, G. Stanley, quoted on 

making personality, 50 
Harnack, on the interest of Jesus, 

204 
Harrison, Frederic, need of social 

synthesis, 30 
Healing, a part of Christ's min- 
istry, 94 
Heath, "The Captive City of 

God," 132 
Heaven, is a city, 58 
Hebrews, quoted on Melchizedec, 

127 
Henderson, " Modern Methods of 

Charity," 63 
Heredity, a factor in life, 133 
Herodotus, describes Persians at 

prayer, 19 
Hobson, "The Social Problem," 63 
Horton, on eternal life, 106 
Hughes, H. P., on Pentecostal 

blessing, 139, 141 
Hunter, " Poverty," 32 
Huxley, on life in East London, 

24, 44 ; says social process may 

be guided, 147 

Ideal needed to-day, 179 
Individual effort a partial failure, 

43 ,. , 

Individuality, how realized, 49 
Individualistic effort not suf&cient, 

'54 . . 

Institutions to be Christianized, 107 
Isaiah, on watchmen in the city, 

161 

James, Prof., on development of 
personality, 48; on influence of 
atmosphere, 172; on subcon- 



INDEX 



233 



scious mind, 171 ; pure air for 
all, 60 
Jesus, His program, 93; throws 
emphasis on present, 202; to 
save the whole man, 102 ; out of 
place in modern city, 1 29 ; was 
an idealist, 129 
Joel, on material blessing, 138 
John, on the friends of Christ, 88 
Justice, defined and described, 123 
Juvenile Court, saves children, 148 

Kelley, " Twentieth Century So- 
cialism," 183 
Kellogg, " The Book of Leviticus," 

«43 
Kidd, on the socially disinherited, 

35 

King, H. C, on the reality of re- 
ligion, 75 

King, Irving, on proofs of inspira- 
tion, 214 

Kingdom, a social ideal, 72 ; a so- 
ciety on earth, 77 ; different 
conceptions of, 66; more than 
good individuals, 128; the Chris- 
tian conception of, 69 ; what be- 
lief in it means, 174 

LabriolA, on materialistic concep- 
tion of history, 1 36 

Lankester, man is nature's rebel, 40 

Lecky, " History of European 
Morals," 32 

Lincoln and Davis, made by en- 
vironment, 169 

Locke, on the end of government, 
112 

Locksley Hall, Sixty Years After, 

25 

London, condition of its poor, 44 
Lord's Prayer, a social program, 93 
Luther, his maxim, 17 

Mackenzie, on individual and so- 
ciety, 59 

Mark, Gospel of, quoted, 217 ; on 
the power of the Gospel, 99 

Marshall, on poverty, 158 

Martensen, on the person and the 
citizen, 57 



Marx, Karl, on economic structure 
of society, 135 ; on the ideal of 
Socialism, 136 

Mathews, " The Church and the 
Changing Order," 32 

Maurice, on the true use of the 
Bible, 175 

Melchizedec, King of Righteous- 
ness and Peace, 127 

Men, why not interested in chui-ch, 
207 

Mill, J. S., on selfishness, 170 

Milton, on effects of sin, 55 

Missionary converts lack enthusi- 
asm, 205 

Mosaic legislation, for present life, 

137 
Moss, on the unity of the universe, 

47 
Munger, " The Freedom of Faith," 

143 

New York, conditions of the poor, 

44 
Nordeau, on slum people, 145 
Northrup, G. W., on Christ's pro- 
gram, 105 

Obligation upon Christian men 
to-day, 227 

Patten, " The Social Basis of Re- 
ligion," 83 

Paul, on Adam's sin, 53 ; on hu- 
manity as a body, 78 

Peabody, " Jesus Christ and the 
Social Question," 228 

People alienated from the churches, 

45 
Perfect man in the perfect society, 

74 

Philanthropy, problems now facing, 
42 

Poverty may be abolished, 153 

Program of Christianity, its ele- 
ments, 153 

Program needed today, 85 ; of 
social salvation, 84; too nega- 
tive, 88 ; to be followed today, 
92 



234 



INDEX 



Rauschenbusch, " Christianity 
and tlie Social Crisis," 83, 184 

Relations, man a being of rela- 
tions, 77 ; to be adjusted, I2i 

Religion outside the churches, 28 

Richards, Timothy, meaning of 
conversion, 75 

Riis, " How the Other Half Lives," 
24 

Ritschl, Christianity is essentially 
social, 71 ; on ideal of the king- 
dom, 86 

Romans, Epistle to quoted, on sin, 

Ross, on social interference, 39 
Rothe, on Jesus' interest in social 

question, 204; says Christianity 

is least immutable, 12 
Ruskin, making a better world, 

208; on Bishop, 178; on lack of 

moral passion, 125 

Saints in modern world, 223 
Saleeby, " Parenthood and Race 

Culture," 132 
Salvation, different conceptions of, 
100; of the whole man, 76, 100 ; 
the problem of social salvation, 
61 
Samaritan, down to date, 163 
Sanday, on need of freshness, 201 
Saved life demands safe environ- 
ment, 157 
Savonarola, his vision of city, 1 20 
Scotland, housing conditions in, 44 
Serviceableness test of religion, 217 
Sidis, " The Psychology of Sugges- 
tion," 183 
Small, on crisis in morals, 29 
Smith, George A., economic prob- 
lem is Christian, 142 ; effects of 
sin on world, 55 ; prosperity and 
religion, 138 
Social action, the method, 133; 
Christianity is needed, 212; 
problem considered, 34 ; recon- 
struction is necessary, 150; sal- 



vation required social action, 
152; task defined, 82; workers, 
not exclusive, 151 
Society needs saving, 151 
Solidarity defined and illustrated, 

47,60 
Somerville, on the solidarity of hu- 
manity, 54 
Spargo, "The Spiritual Signif- 
icance of Modern Socialism," 
228 
Spencer, on destruction of the 
unfit, 39; quoted on happiness, 
60 
Sphinx, sitting by roadside, 33 
Spirit at work in the world, 15 
Spiritual life not isolated, 74 
State to be Christianized, 112 
Strong, " The Challenge of the 
City," 63 ; " The Nexf Great 
Awakening," 132 
Subconscious life important, 171 

Threshold of consciousness, 171 
Trocadero, scene in recently, 185 

Unfit, the preservation of, 38 
Union of all who love, 181 

Victories for the kingdom to-day, 

209 
Von Hase, on the lack of the age, 

29 

Ward, L. S., " Applied Sociol- 
ogy," 132; on influence of en- 
vironment, 144 
Ward and others, " Social Min- 
istry," 83 
Wernle, early Christians were 

rebels, 174 
Wesley, on solitary religion, 73 
Westcott, describes the Church, ill 
Whitman, "There was a child 
went forth," 168 



TIMELY ESSAYS AND ADDRESSES 



J. H. JOWETT 

The Transfigured Church 

lamo, cloth, net $1.25. 
"In Dr. Jowett we lose the greatest living master of the 
homiletic art. We lose one of the most powerful and deeply 
instructed among evangelical preachers. We lose one of the 
wisest, _ most inspiring and most trusted of our leaders. 
There is, however, no use in disguising the fact that it is 
©nly with the utmost stretch of magnanimity that we compel 
ourselves not to grudge him to our American friends." 

— The British Weekly. 
"On every side we hear the lament that the church is 
without power,_ and men feel that if her forces could but be 
utilized to their full, the world would receive a mighty up- 
lift. _ The possibilities of the church, if all its powers were 
put in motion, are here most wonderfully portrayed. This 
book should inspire every Christian with new hope and in- 
creased zeal." — United Presbyterian, 

NEWELL D WIGHT HILLIS, P.P. 

The Contagion of Character 

Studies in Culture and Success. lamo, cloth, net $1.20. 

A companion volume to the author's very popular "In- 
vestment of Influence." "As a writer Dr. Hillis is eloquent 
and fascinating. His pages sparkle with sentences which 
one longs to quote. His paragraphs are teeming with meta- 
phors and allusions, but there is not one that does not have 
the true ring.** 

FREP BRICK LYNCH Director of N. Y. Peace Society. 

The Peace Problem T^e'^t?efb'c1nt'u% 

Introduction by Andrew Carnegie. i6mo, cloth, net 750. 

Andrew Carnegie commends this book in no stinted 
terms. "I have read this book from beginning to end with 
interest and profit. I hope large editions will be circulated by 
our peace organizations among those we can interest in the 
noblest of all causes." 

JOHN T. PARIS Author of ''Pleasant Afternoons 

^^— — — ^— ^^ for the Children/* 

"Making Good" 

Pointers for the Man of To-morrow. 
i2mo, cloth, net $1.25. 
A volume by the Assistant lEditor of The Westminster 
Teacher, prepared primarily for boys, but impressively sug- 
gestive for all ages that assuredly "make good" — its author s 
evident object. It is a book to commend and to circulate. 
CONTENTS. 

I. Getting Ready VI. Was it I<uck? 

II. Surmounting Difficulties VII. Work and Wages 

III. Stability and Instability VIII. Habits 

IV. At School IX. Ourselves end Others 

V. In Business X. Getting a Vision 



CLIN I CAL STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY 

HAROLD BEGBIE 

Twice-Born Men 

A Clinic in Regeneration, 

i2mo, clotb, net $i.2s. 
A footnote in narrative to Prof. Wm. James' '"Ite 

Varieties of Religious Experience." 

Studies in the phenomena of conversion from the stand- 
point of the student of human nature. 

Prof. William James, of Harvard, says; "Mr. Begbie'a 
book is a wonderful set of stories splendidly worked up. It 
certainly needs no preface from me. I might as well call my 
book a foot-note to his. I am proud of the dedication and 
nf the references and I wish the book a great success." 

J. Wilbur Chapman says: "One of the most thrillingly 
interesting books I have ever read. I could wish that every 
Christian might read the book and receive as much per- 
sonal spiritual profit as has come to me." 

HORACE EMORY WARNER, Ph.D. 

The Psychology of the Chri^ian Life 

8vo, cloth, net $1.50. 

An unusually scholarly and . at the same time scripturally 
enforced study of the Cfhristian life in which the usual ter- 
minology is replaced by descriptions psychological and scien- 
tific. The author has chosen a very nearly clear field and 
while many have written of the psychology of religious ex- 
perience. Dr. Warner confines himself to the Christian 
and Evangelical field, thus making an invaluable contribution 
both to Christian scholarship and the philosophy of religion. 

WILLIAM ALEXANDER GRIST 

The Historic Chri^ in the Faith of To-day 

8vo, cloth, net $2.30. 

This work on the central figure of Christianity occupies a 
ground midway between a regular Christology on the one 
hand and a biography of Christ on the other. It is conserva- 
tive in the best sense of the word, and is a very distinctly 
noteworthy contribution to the literature on the subject. 

JOHN TIMOTHY STONE, D D. 

Recruiting for Chri^ 

Hand to Hand Methods with Men, 
i»nio, Cloth, net $1.00. .... . 

The chapters which comprise this book were given M 
Lectures before a class conducted under the auspices of 
the Federation of Church Clubs and Brotherhood in Chicago. 
Dr. Stone speaks both with the spirit of personal work snd 
the best methods of getting at it in an unusually vigorous and 
wholesome way. The book differs absolutely from the stei^ 
eotyped and more or less hackneyed collection of special casM 
and equally stereotyped selections, and will be .found inval- 
uable to arouse a sense of responsibility in this subject as 
well as furnishing wise directions for its pursuit. 



ESSAYS. A DDRESSES, Etc. 

JAMES I. VANCE 

Tendency : The Effect of Trend and Drift 
in the Development of Life. 

X2mo, cloth, net $1.25. 

"Aims primarilir at helping young men so that they will 
turn their lives in the right direction at the very stait. 
Ihese discussions are alive. They are full of suggestive 
thoughts. They cannot fail to inspire. They deal with the 
very conditions in which men find themselves, and they are 
apt. They are bound to do good.* — C. B. World, 

J. H. JOWETT 

The Transfigured Church 

i2ino, cloth, net $1.25. 

A truly remarkable portrayal of what the Church might 
be if it fully availed itself of all the forces and powers at its 
disposal. The great Birmingham preacher is seen in this vol- 
ume at his very best and the remarkable skill in expression, 
in clarity of thought and breadth of sympathy are manifest 
on every page. 

HENRY W. CLARK 

Laws of the Inner Kingdom 

i2mo, cloth, net $1.25. 
"This is a distinctly Christian study of the laws of 
spiritual life and experience. The book is thoughtful, rev- 
erent, sincere and scholarly and will be of profit to the 
one who reads it carefully." — Journal and Messenger, 

PERCY C. AINSWORTH 

The Pilgrim Church and Other Sermons 

i2mo, cloth, net $1.25. 

Sir Robertson NicoU says: "Every page and almost every 
•entence is striking. This is a book which must inevitably 
find its way into the hands of every preacher worthy of the 
name and multitudes who are not preachers will find m it 
the help that they need. It is truly a golden book. 

W. L. WATKINSON 

The Fatal Barter and Other Sermons 

i2mo, cloth, net $1.00. 

"Reveals the secret of the eagerness with which the au- 
thor is heard in his homeland and in this country, at North- 
field and elsewhere. He is evangelical in his teaching, loyal 
to the Scriptures, but his spirit is modern, and one of the 
chiefs charms of his sermons is in the application of the 
changeless truth to the needs and conditions of our day. — 
Lutheran Observer. 



CHRISTOLOGY 

What Jesus Said 

The Great Discourse of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

i2mo, cloth, net $i.c». 
Here we have the words or sayings of Jesus compiled 
topically, without extraneous matter. 'Hie book meets a dis- 
tinct want. 

F. R. MONTGOMERY HITCHCOCK 

Chri^ and His Critics 

i2mo, cloth, $1.00. 

A discriminating: and original description of prominent 
aspects of the I/ife of Christ as touched upon by criticism 
and research, displaying both a thorough mastery of the 
subject and a most refreshing style. 

BISHOP WM. FRAZER McD DWELL 

In the School of Chri^ 

Cole Lectures for igio. izmo, Cloth, net $1.25. 

A thoughtful, sympathetic, and original arrangement 
of the teaching Christ gave to His disciples to fit them for 
the apostolate. The chapters are suggestive in their very 
titles: Chosen by the Master — I To Hear What He Says; 
n To See What He Does; III To I^arn What He Is. 
Sent Forth by the Master — I With a Message; II With a 
Program; III With a Personality. 

CHARLES McTYEIRE BISHOP, D. D. 

Jesus the Worker 

studies in the Ethical Leadership of the Son of Man. The 
Cole Lectures for iqog. i2mo, cloth, net $1.25. 
"The scholarly attainments and vigor of this well- 
trained mind were known to a wide circle of friends who 
were ready to declare that the lectures for 1909 would take 
rank among the best delivered upon this foundation. This 
prophecy has been fulfilled." — Nashville Christian Advocate. 

JOHN A. HUTTON, M.A . 

The Authority and Person of Our Lord 

i6mo, Cloth, net 50c. 
A penetratng and original discussion of the Deity of 
Jesus. The lectures which constitute it were delivered at 
Northfield and there created interest. Its small size makes 
it easily read in an hour. 

CLELAND B. McAFEE, D. D. 

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount 

i2mo, cloth, net $1.00. 

Dr. McAfee brings to whatever he discusses a freshness 
and originality which makes a place for whatever he may 
write. In these studies his aim seems to have been to touch 
as far as possible those aspects and applications of the great 
discourse usually passed over.